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Additives turn PET into 'wow'

January 1, 2008

2 Min Read
Additives turn PET into 'wow'

It’s not quite alchemy, but a number of recently introduced additives and masterbatches are offering new color portfolios that are helping blowmolders of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging enhance that material with snappy new colors. Typically, PET is prized for its clarity, but these colorants also take advantage of the material’s high gloss to achieve outstanding looks.

For example, in addition to adding seven new shades to its LiquidMetal Colors line, Ampacet (Tarrytown, NY; www.ampacet.com) has launched Blue Edge masterbatch, which it says give PET bottles a blue halo silhouette, as well as enhancing bottle brightness and giving a soft glow in ultraviolet light. The company says that since pigment isn’t used, light transmission isn’t affected. Alcoholic drinks imbibed at clubs that employ black lights are one potential target product.

For its LiquidMetal line, Ampacet has added bronze, gold, red, silver, midnight blue, brown, and bright chrome to the preexisting brass, chrome, copper, onyx, graphite, and gun-metal blue shades. Ampacet says the line sees use in packaging that looks to simulate polished metal for cosmetics, specialty foods, beverage, and car-care product packaging. The product uses Ampacet’s Formula X PET technology, which eliminates the need to pre-dry PET colors and allows for extruder-throat feeding. This technology also reportedly reduces feed-throat clogging, screw slippage, and improves color dispersion.

Teknor Color Co. (Pawtucket, RI; www.teknorapex.com) has new custom-colored concentrates that allow designers to achieve color-shift effects in packaging. The ColorMorph line has colorants that shift from gold to bright red, depending on viewing angle, and transparent or opaque. The latter orients the color in this PET sheet so that printing or contents would be visible, depending on the angle.

Last month, Ampacet announced it now offers two amber masterbatches for injection blowmolded PET pharmaceutical prescription bottles. These grades, Ampacet 681725-PT and 681726-PT, let processors color PET in their facilities rather than rely on pre-colored plastic. Both masterbatches meet requirements set for pharmaceutical bottles such as lightfastness, UV protection, clarity, color and extractability. “Until now, processors could only purchase pre-colored amber PET for the prescription bottles used in almost every U.S. pharmacy,” says Douglas Brownfield, Ampacet’s strategic business manager. “Our new masterbatches give them the alternative they have been looking for.”

Both grades comply with USP Section 661 for volatiles extraction, in which a solvent extracts volatiles at 49°C for 10 days. Light transmission of Ampacet 681725-PT and 681726-PT is 3.6 and 0.7 percent, respectively, well under the 10% limit (between 290 and 450 nm) for prescription bottles. Ampacet 681726-PT contains a UV additive. Neither masterbatch must be pre-dried.—[email protected]; [email protected]

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