How to choose a suitable masterbatch machine?

How to choose a suitable masterbatch machine?

The definition of masterbatch

The kind of masterbatch you want to produce will influence what kind of masterbatch machine you choose to buy. Before you buy a masterbatch, it is necessary to know about the masterbatch. What is masterbatch? A masterbatch is a plastic formulation that contains additives that are essential for the appearance and performance of the final product. In the process of plastic processing and moulding, for the convenience of operation, all kinds of auxiliaries, fillers and a small amount of carrier resin are mixed, melted and extruded by twin-screw and other equipment.

The content of additives or fillers in the masterbatch is several times to ten times higher than that in the actual plastic products. In the process of forming, the ratio of masterbatch and matrix resin must be adjusted according to the content of relevant components in the masterbatch and the amount needed to be added to the actual product.

masterbatch machine-masterbatch

Types of masterbatch

Filling masterbatch

Filling masterbatch, that is, polydilute hydrocarbon filling masterbatch, is a kind of white micron calcium carbonate masterbatch with pure raw material PE, PP or styrene resin as carrier. The number of calcium carbonates is determined by the final product. The filling masterbatch can be classified into blowing film grade and injection moulding grade, and the filling masterbatch of blowing film grade is of high quality, which requires good physical properties, dispersibility and stability.

Colour masterbatch

The colour masterbatch is a kind of aggregate made by uniformly loading super constant pigments or dyes into the resin. Colour masterbatch can be classified by carrier such as PE masterbatch, PP masterbatch, ABS masterbatch, PVC masterbatch, EVA masterbatch, etc.

Functional masterbatch

Some functional auxiliaries are added to the base material (such as PE, PP, PA, etc.) to provide the related properties of the base material.

Mechanical properties modification: PA reinforcement, PP toughening, PP stress cracking resistance, etc.

Modification of electrical properties: insulation, shielding, conductive, antistatic, etc.

Modification of environmental properties: anti-ageing, anti-radiation, antibacterial, degradable materials, etc.

Modification of optical properties: transparency, matte, astigmatism, luminescence, etc. Other functional modifications: barrier, anti-fogging, magnetic materials, etc.

Flame retardant masterbatch

Flame retardant masterbatch is also known as fireproof masterbatch. It is a kind of product produced in order to meet the fire prevention requirements of plastic and rubber products, which is an organic combination, modification and synergistic effect of a variety of flame retardant components on the basis of flame retardants. Through the masterbatch extruder through mixing, extrusion, granulation to make a kind of particles.

Basic formulations for different masterbatches

Take Filling masterbatch and Colour masterbatch as examples.

masterbatch machine-formula
masterbatch machine-formula

The application of masterbatch

Color masterbatch can be classified according to use, such as injection masterbatch, blow molding masterbatch, spinning masterbatch and so on.

Advanced injection masterbatch is used in cosmetic boxes, toys, electrical enclosures and other high-grade products. Ordinary injection color masterbatch is used for general daily plastic products, industrial containers and so on.

Advanced blown film masterbatch is used for blow molding and coloring of ultra-thin products. Ordinary blown film masterbatch is used for blow molding and coloring of general packing bags and woven bags.

The spinning color masterbatch is used for spinning and coloring of textile fibers. the masterbatch pigment has fine particles, high concentration, strong coloring power, good heat resistance and light resistance. Low-grade color masterbatch is used to make low-grade products that do not require high color quality, such as garbage cans, low-grade containers and so on.

Filling masterbatch can be widely used in PE, PP, PS, ABS and other plastic products, such as PE plastic bags, injection molding, extrusion and other products.Some specific products can add filling masterbatch to achieve the purpose of reducing cost.

masterbatch machine-application scene

Flame retardant masterbatch: flame retardant polypropylene fiber masterbatch is mainly used to produce flame retardant polypropylene fiber filament or staple fiber, indoor curtains,  sofa table covers, Simmons bed masks, carpets and other decorative fabrics in high-rising buildings, hospitals and public places, as well as conveyor belts for coal mines.It can also be used in the plastic industry to produce TV sets, radio housings and other plastic products.

As one of the three major synthetic fibers, polyester masterbatch polyester fiber has been widely used in the manufacture of clothing and industrial products. Flame retardant polyester fiber has a wide range of applications because of its permanent flame retardancy. It not only plays an irreplaceable role in industrial textiles, building interior decoration, and vehicle interior decoration but also is used in the field of protective clothing. Flame retardant masterbatch polymer materials for plastics are playing a more and more extensive role in the fields of construction, automobile, electronics and electrical appliances, aerospace, daily furniture and so on.

What are the processing methods of masterbatch?

At present, the main processing method of masterbatch is to use twin-screw extruder to mix auxiliaries, fillers and a small amount of carrier resin and then experience the process of melting, extrusion and granulation. Because the twin-screw extruder has the natural advantage of evenly mixing a variety of raw materials, and can maximize the proportion of auxiliaries and fillers, so as to improve production efficiency. And a set of screw can produce a variety of different screw structures to meet the production needs of different masterbatches, which improve the utilization rate of the masterbatch machine and greatly reduce the equipment cost.

Types of masterbatch machine

According to the variety of masterbatch and different market needs, there are many kinds of masterbatch machines for different using needs. Take colour masterbatch as an example, although the overall market need for colour masterbatch is large, for a specific category, colour or grade, there is generally not much demand.

Therefore, colour masterbatch production is well controlled within the market demand, resulting that small-scale masterbatch machines such as twin screw extruders with screw diameter of 35~52mm are preferred for producing colour masterbatch. The application of filling masterbatch is wider than colour masterbatch so the demand for it is generally larger.

masterbatch machine

What’s the difference between machine models?

There is a significant difference, that is, pelletizing method. To produce the filling masterbatch using PP as the carrier, because of the high viscosity of PP, it is generally cut by water cooling. To produce the filling masterbatch with PE as the carrier and a large filling volume, the method of water ring hot cutting or underwater cutting is generally adopted.

For colour masterbatch, colour masterbatch extruder can process many kinds of colour masterbatch, at the same time, frequent colour change often needs to clean the barrel and the head. If the twin-screw barrel can be divided separately, cleaning efficiency and effect will be better. For the granulation of PBAT, PLA and other fully degraded plastics, the method of air-cooled strip cutting is adopted because it is easily soluble in water.

How to choose a suitable masterbatch-making machine?

Before you decide to buy a masterbatch machine, there are several questions you need to consider.

1. First of all, what kind of plastic should be processed? PE, PP, PA, PBT, or PET?

2. What kind of modification for masterbatch do you want?  Colour master, filling masterbatch, or other functional masterbatch?

3. What kind of modification additives are added? Inorganic materials or organic materials? How much to add?

4. Diameter of the screw for masterbatch machine is determined according to motor power size, material system and production volume, etc.

5. Determine the cutting method according to the variety of masterbatch. The cutting methods are: water cooling strand pelletizing, air cooling strand pelletizing, water ring hot face pelletizing, air cooling hot face pelletizing, under water pelletizing system and eccentric water-spray hot-face cutting, etc.

For the preparation of functional masterbatch, most engineering plastics and high-temperature plastics must be cooled quickly and efficiently by water cooling, so air cooling strand pelletizing is suitable for modification of biodegradable plastic such as PBAT, PLA, and PP non-woven filling masterbatch.

Water cooling strand pelletizing method is suitable for most masterbatch production.

Water ring hot face pelletizing is suitable for filling masterbatch, and white masterbatch. black mother granulation, etc for quantity production.

Air cooling hot face pelletizing is suitable for soft PVC cable material, PVC special medical materials, etc.

Underwater pelletizing is suitable for the mass production of most general plastics, which is costly and difficult to clean but the degree of automation is high.

Eccentric water-spray hot-face cutting is suitable for hard PVC granulation and  XLPE cable material granulation.

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