There are a variety of reasons that manufacturers choose to use polymer additives. Additives have been added to polymers for ages and as long as plastic is used this practice will continue. It’s because these additives effectively reduce costs, extend the life of the material, and reduce flammability, improve flexibility and make processing simpler among other benefits.
Additives are used much of the time to improve the processibility and processing characteristics of the material. For instance, internal and external lubricants are often added to make processing more efficient. The internal lubricants, such as fatty ester and waxes, improve polymer flow properties and mold filling by reducing friction. External lubricants such as metallic soaps and fatty acids are used to reduce the friction between the plastic and the manufacturing equipment. Molding agents, such as silicone oils and graphite, can also be used to assist with release from the mold. Without some or all of these additives, the manufacturing of polymers would be much less efficient.
Polymer additives are used to decrease the cost of manufacturing additives. Fillers, also known as extenders, are additives that add bulk to the polymer, effectively reducing the volume of base polymer consumed, therefore reducing costs. Minerals, such as calcium carbonate, silica, glass fibers, and carbon black can all be used as extenders. Fillers often act to enhance stability and moldability.
Extended Life Span
Plastics, like most materials, are prone to degrading over time especially when routinely exposed to high temperatures, UV light from the sun, and oxygen. This degradation presents in many forms including brittleness, discoloration, and loss of physical properties that reduce the life span of the plastic. Stabilizers can be added to the polymer to reduce the degradation of plastics. For instance, there are UV stabilizers and stabilizers with antioxidant additives that can be used to protect the plastics from these issues.
Flame retardants are a popular and necessary additive for many plastic applications. This type of additive can delay or slow down combustion. These additives are especially common in electrical products to avoid the ignition and burning of plastics.
Phoenix Plastics Can Provide You with the Additives You Need
The additives used in the formulation of polymers are unique to each customer and their use. If you are looking for high-quality additives that will perform as expected, Phoenix Plastics would love to help! Since 1996 we have been providing our customers with the additives they need. Phoenix Plastics has over 200 products and a wealth of experience.