Although we may see no visible difference in an NIR detectable product, it is in the non-visible parts of the spectrum that define its purpose, but colour is only part of the recycling picture.
A Near Infra-Red [NIR] detectable black or colour masterbatch is designed for colouring plastics that are going to be reclaimed after use from mixed plastic waste. This process employs NIR polymer identification techniques to separate the basic polymer types, prior to being recycled. Although we may see no visible difference in an NIR detectable product, it is in the non-visible parts of the spectrum that define its purpose, but colour is only part of the recycling picture.
Knowing the product is going to be recycled it would be reasonable to assume that other performance-enhancing additives might also be required in the recycling process. Adding these additives to the reground polymer can prove problematic. Colour Tone Masterbatch Ltd, the market-leading supplier of NIR detectable masterbatches, take the opportunity to include performance-enhancing additives as standard to the masterbatch for use in subsequent reprocessing.
Depending on application and polymer type, this could include antioxidants, melt stabilisation additives or stabilisers against hydrophilic degradation. As the precise nature of the subsequent recycling process is unknown, or if a percentage of prime virgin polymer is being blended with recycled feedstock, then it would be prudent to add these to the black NIR detectable masterbatch. Not only does this provides a useful visual marker to show even distribution of the additives but ensures the required additives are targeted to the recycled quotient of the new compound.
For more information, contact Colour Tone Masterbatch using the details below, or visit their website.