Here are five key points to keep in mind when you want to understand color masterbatches in their entirety!

Color masterbatch is a resin coloring mixture with high efficiency and high concentration of color made from a large number of pigments or dyes and carrier resins of one or more components through strict processing and dispersion technology. There is great demand for color masterbatch in China and great potential for development. Therefore, it is necessary to research and develop masterbatch production technology.


Below, we have a comprehensive understanding of the masterbatch, including the common classification, basic components, masterbatch production process and equipment, and finally look at the application and future development of masterbatch.

1.Color masterbatch classification

01.According to the use of different
Color masterbatch is divided into injection masterbatch, blow molding masterbatch, spinning masterbatch, etc., and each variety can be divided into different grades.

Advanced injection color master is used for cosmetic packaging boxes, toys, electrical shell and other advanced products; Ordinary injection color master for general daily plastic products, industrial containers, etc. Advanced blow molding master for ultra thin products blow molding coloring.

Ordinary blow molding color master for general packaging bags and woven bags blow coloring. Spinning master is used for spinning and coloring of textile fibers. The master pigment has fine particles, high concentration, strong coloring power, good heat resistance and light resistance. Low – grade master color is used to manufacture low – grade products which do not require high quality color.

02. According to the carrier
Color masterbatch is divided into PE, PP, PVC, PS, ABS, EVA, PC, PET, PEK, phenolic resin, epoxy resin, acrylic resin, unsaturated polyester resin, polyurethane, polyamide, fluorine resin master and so on.

03. According to the different functions
Color masterbatch is divided into anti-static, flame retardant, anti-aging, antibacterial, whitening and brightening, anti-reflection, weather resistance, extinction, pearlite, imitation marble grain (flow), wood grain color master grain, etc.

04. According to the user’s use
Color masterbatch is divided into general color master and special color master. Low melting point PE master is often used as a general color master, suitable for other resin coloring besides the carrier resin. The vast majority of normal master batch enterprises in the world generally do not produce general master color. general master color range is very narrow. its technical indicators and economic benefits are poor.

The universal master color shows different colors in different plastics, and the prediction of coloring effect is poor. Universal master color affects the strength of products,and the products are easy to deformation, distortion, and more obvious to engineering plastics. General master color for general use, selects high heat resistant grade pigment, high cost and results in waste.

Special master in the process of product processing, with high concentration, good dispersion, cleaning and other significant advantages. Special master heat resistance grade is generally suitable for plastics used for products, the normal temperature is safe to use, only in the case of temperature beyond the normal range and downtime is too long will cause different degrees of discoloration.

05. According to the color
Color masterbatch is divided into black, white, yellow, green, red, orange, brown, blue, silver, gold, purple, gray and pink masterbatch.

2.Color masterbatch raw material basic composition

01. Pigment
Pigment is the basic coloring is best to pretreat, the surface of its fine particles with resin coating, prevent mutual flocculation, so that it is easy to disperse. In order to coat and mix evenly, solvents that have affinity to pigments and can dissolve resins are used, such as o-dichlorobenzene, chlorobenzene, xylene, etc. In the case of resin dissolution, the pigment is dispersed and then the solvent is recovered or removed.

02. Carrier
The carrier is the matrix of the color masterbatch. At present, the special master batch is the same resin as the carrier, which can ensure the compatibility of the master batch and the colored resin, and is conducive to better pigment dispersion. There are many kinds of carrier resins, including polyethylene, atactic polypropylene, poly1-butene , low relative molecular weight polypropylene, etc.

For polyolefin masterbatch, LLDPE or LDPE with high melt index is generally selected as the carrier resin, which has good processing fluidity. It is blended with the colored resin to adjust the viscosity of the system, so as to play the role of infiltrating and dispersing pigments, minimize the amount of dispersant, and achieve good dispersion effect even without dispersant, and ensure that the performance of the colored products does not decline.

03. Dispersant
Dispersant wetting and coating pigment promote the pigment in the carrier evenly dispersed no longer condensed.Its melting point should be lower than the resin, and resin has good compatibility, and the pigment has a better affinity. There are many kinds of dispersants, low molecular weight polyethylene wax, polyester, stearate, white oil, low molecular weight polyethylene oxide, etc.

04. Additives
In addition to coloring, the masterbatch also adds flame retardant, antioxidant, antistatic agent, light stabilizer and so on according to the various requirements of users, which has a variety of functions at the same time. Sometimes the user does not require, but the color master enterprise will also suggest adding some additives according to the product needs.

3. Color masterbatch production technology
The production process of color masterbatch is strict, which can be divided into dry process and wet process.

01. Wet process
The color masterbatch is made by grinding, phase turning, washing, drying and granulation. When grinding pigments, a series of technical tests should be carried out, such as measuring grinding grout fineness, diffusion property, solid content, etc. Wet process has 4 methods including ink method, flushing method,kneading method and metal soap method

(1) Ink method
Ink method is the production method of ink paste. The ingredients are ground in three rollers and coated with a low molecular protective layer. The ground ink paste is mixed with the carrier resin, plasticized by a two-roll plasticizer, and finally granulated by a single or twin screw extruder.

(2)Flushing method
Rinsing method is the pigment, water and dispersant through the sand grinding, so that the particles < 1μm, the use of phase transfer method to make the pigment into the oil phase, evaporation, concentration and drying, adding the carrier, extrusion granulation to get master. Phase conversion requires organic solvent and the corresponding solvent recovery device, the operation is complicated, which increases the difficulty of processing.

(3)Kneading method
Kneading method is the pigment and oil carrier mixed, through kneading to make the pigment from the water phase into the oil phase. The oily carrier covers the surface of the pigment so that the pigment disperses and stabilizes, preventing condensation. Then extrude granulation to obtain color masterbatch.

(4) Metal soap method
After grinding the pigment particle size to about 1μm, add soap liquid at a certain temperature, evenly wet the pigment particle surface, forming saponification liquid protective layer (such as magnesium stearate), will not cause flocculation, maintain a certain fineness. Then the carrier was added and mixed at high speed, and the color masterbatch was obtained by extrusion granulation.

02. Dry process
Some enterprises in the production of high-grade masterbatch, prepare their own pre-dispersed pigment, and then use the dry process granulation. Masterbatch production conditions with products required to present a variety of options. High churn + single screw, high churn + double screw is the most common production technology. In order to improve the dispersion of pigment, some enterprises will be the carrier resin ground into powder.

Mixing machine + single screw, mixing machine + double screw are also used to produce high quality master batch technology. At present, the technology of color masterbatch measurement and color matching is more popular, and more high performance spectrophotometer is introduced to assist the completion of color matching.

4. Production Equipment
Color masterbatch production equipment includes grinding equipment, high and low speed kneading machine, mixing machine, extrusion granulation equipment, etc. Grinding equipment, such as sand mill, cone mill, colloid mill and high shear dispersion machine.

Kneading machine through vacuum decompression exhaust, extraction of volatile matter and dehydration; Thermal working conditions through heat conduction oil, steam heating or water cooling; Discharging mode is turning cylinder discharging, valve discharging and screw discharging; Kneading paddle adopts frequency conversion governor for speed control.

The mixer is divided into two kinds: open rubber mixer and closed rubber mixer. Extrusion granulation equipment includes single screw extruder, twin screw extruder (flat, flat, cone, cone), multi-screw extruder and non-screw extruder, etc.

5. Application and development of color masterbatch
Color masterbatch has a wide range of applications, mainly serving the plastic industry, rubber industry and fiber industry.

01. Plastic
The pigment content of plastic masterbatch is usually between 10% and 20%. When used, it is added to the plastic that needs to be colored in a ratio of 1:10 to 1:20, which can reach the coloring resin or product with the design pigment concentration. Masterbatch plastics and tinted plastics may be of the same variety or compatible with other plastic varieties.

Color masterbatch can be a single color variety or a variety of pigment combination color variety. Pigment selection should meet the processing conditions and quality requirements of plastic products. Master of color in the field of plastic products more mature and common application, 85% of the colorant plastic products using master of color, easy to use, no dry powder pigment dust flying problem, thoroughly solve the pigment dispersion caused by the product color spot, pigment inconsistency and other ills.

Polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, plexiglass, nylon, polycarbonate, celluloid, phenolic plastic, epoxy resin, amine plastic and other varieties, all have the corresponding master batch.

In the plastic industry, the color masterbatch market demand is concentrated in engineering plastic products (household appliances, automobiles), construction plastic products (pipe, profile), agricultural film products, plastic packaging products, etc. Household appliances, automobiles, building plastic products and other industries have higher requirements and large consumption of color masterbatch, which plays a role in promoting the development of color masterbatch.

02. Rubber
The preparation method of rubber masterbatch is similar to that of plastic masterbatch. The pigment, plasticizer and synthetic resin selected should be matched with rubber. Pigments are mainly used as reinforcing agents and colorants in rubber. Black pigment is mainly carbon black; White pigment zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, calcium carbonate, etc.; Other pigments include iron oxide, chromium yellow, ultramarine, chromium oxide green, fast yellow, benzidine yellow, phthalocyanine green, lake red C, dioxazine purple, etc.

Wires, cables, tires are widely used in carbon black, the traditional carbon black is changed into carbon black masterbatch, the amount of the color masterbatch occupies the first position. At present, carbon black enterprises at home and abroad can not fully produce carbon black masterbatch, so it is necessary to study in tire carbon black masterbatch to improve the performance of its products, and the market potential is huge.

When processing rubber, the use of rubber masterbatch can avoid the dust caused by powder pigments, improve the operating environment. The color masterbatch is easy to disperse evenly, so that the color of rubber products is uniform and the actual consumption of pigment is reduced.

The amount of rubber coloring pigment is usually between 0.5% and 2%, and the amount of inorganic pigment is a little more. This processing pigment should be matched with rubber processing technology and quality to meet the needs of the rubber industry. Pigment enterprises need to do a lot of application research work to develop and promote this kind of processing pigment varieties.

03. Fiber
Fiber stock coloring is when spinning fibers, color masterbatch is directly added to fiber viscose or fiber resin, so that the pigment appears in the drawing, known as fiber interior coloring.

Compared with traditional dyeing, fiber stock solution coloring processes resin and color masterbatch into colored fibers and directly uses them for textile, and omits the dyeing and finishing process. It has the advantages of small investment, energy saving, no three wastes and low coloring cost, accounting for about 5% at present.

The pigment for fiber coloring masterbatch requires bright color, good dispersion, good thermal stability, light resistance, solvent resistance, acid and alkali resistance, bleach resistance, insoluble in water, inorganic or organic pigments can be selected.

The UV absorbent, the antioxidant and the flame retardant producted by Qingdao Yihoo Polymer Technology CO. LTD. mainly used in masterbatch products, welcome customers to contact :

Post time: Feb-02-2023