Plastic is a part of our lives today. It is in our homes, our cars, and our workspaces. Plastic comes in many forms and serves many purposes. Much of the versatility of plastic comes from the plastic additives that are used in the production of the process. There are a wide variety of plastics additives that are used, with some being more common than others.
Process aids are used in the compounding of many polymers. These additives can be used for a variety of reasons such as flow enhancement, to increase productivity, to eliminate dye build-up, assist with dispersants, or to aid in mold release. Every compounded batch is different and can be tailored to the need of the client based on their specifications.
Stabilizers are one of the most common plastics additives. This is because polymer chains have to be protected or they will break down over time. There are a wide variety of stabilizers that are used to protect plastics including thermal, ultraviolet, and antioxidants that allow for plastic compounders to truly personalize every batch made.
Purging agents are often used prior to the compounding of a polymer in order to ensure the product is free and clear of any contaminants. These purging agents are used to remove any unwanted color from equipment. Purging agents come in a variety of options depending on the type of plastic being used or the type of contaminate wanting to be removed.
Foaming agents are another common additive used in plastics processing. The idea behind these foaming agents is to reduce weight, cycle time, and to prevent sink marks from forming. Foaming agents are commonly used in injection molding and other various processes.
Essential oil plastic additives are quite common. These additives are generally added to plastics that will be used where insects may be present. The addition of the oils to the plastic will help to repel insects, add a pleasant aroma, and prolong the life of the polymer in that particular application.
Antimicrobial Plastics Additives
Plastics that will be used in building, small appliances, commercial settings, and the like will often have antimicrobial plastics additives used in their compounding. These additives help to limit the growth of bacteria on the surface of the plastic product. This can be a huge benefit in the use of plastics in just about any application to prevent the spread of disease vectors.
Fire retardants are also a very commonly used plastic additive. The purpose is to make the plastic product as resistant to fire as possible. Flame retardants are used in plastics that will have any exposure to heat, so there are a vast amount of applications from appliances, construction, and automotive applications, and beyond.