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Choosing the Best Masterbatch Machine for Color Masterbatch

In the realm of plastics manufacturing, the production of color masterbatch stands as a vital process, serving industries ranging from packaging to automotive, where precise coloration and consistency are paramount. At the heart of this process lies the masterbatch extruder, a crucial component that ensures the quality and uniformity of the final product.

In this article, we compare different masterbatch manufacturing processes and suggest the best color masterbatch machine for you.

What Is Color Masterbatch?

Color masterbatch is a well-dispersed plastic coloring agent formed by a high proportion of pigments, additives, and thermoplastic resins. The resin used in it has good wetting and dispersing effects on the coloring agent, and it has good compatibility with the colored material. In other words, color masterbatch = pigment + carrier + additives.

Color Masterbatch Manufacturing Process

The production technology of color masterbatch has strict requirements and generally involves two processes: dry production process and wet production process.

Wet Production Process

There are four methods in the wet process for producing color masterbatch materials:

1. Ink method

As the name suggests, this method involves using ink paste to produce color masterbatch, wherein a low-molecular protective layer is coated onto the pigment surface through three-roll milling. The finely milled ink paste is then mixed with carrier resin and plastified using a two-roll mill (also known as a twin-roll mill). Finally, granulation is achieved through a single-screw extruder or twin-screw extruder.

Specific process flow: Select Materials → Stirring → Grinding → Mixing → Base Granulation → Color Masterbatch

2. Flushing method

It involves pigments, water, and dispersants being ground using a sand mill to reduce pigment particles to less than 1μm. Through a phase transfer process, the pigments are transferred into the oil phase, and then dried to produce color masterbatch. Organic solvents and corresponding solvent recovery equipment are required for the phase transfer process.

Specific process flow: Pigment + Water + Dispersant → Grinding → Evaporation Concentration Drying → Mixing → Base Granulation → Color Masterbatch

3. Kneading method

The process involves blending pigments with an oily carrier. Leveraging the pigment’s affinity for oil, they are coerced from the aqueous phase into the oil phase through kneading. Simultaneously, the oily carrier envelops the pigment surface, ensuring stable dispersion and preventing pigment agglomeration.

Specific process flow: Pigment + Carrier Resin → Kneading → Base Granulation → Color Masterbatch

4. Metal soap method

After grinding, the pigment particles reach a size of around 1μm. They are then mixed with soap solution at a specific temperature, ensuring uniform wetting of each pigment particle’s surface by the soap solution, forming a soap layer.

Upon addition of a metal salt solution, a chemical reaction occurs between the soap layer on the pigment surface and the metal salt solution, forming a protective layer of metal soap (such as magnesium stearate). This prevents agglomeration of the finely ground pigment particles and maintains a certain level of fineness.

Specific process flow: Pigment + Dispersant → Grinding → Mixing → Extrusion Granulation → Color Masterbatch

Wet Production Process

Some companies may prepare pre-dispersed pigments by themselves when producing high-grade masterbatch and then use the dry process to granulate them. Masterbatch production conditions present diversified options depending on product requirements.

High-speed mixer + single-screw extruder, high-speed mixer + twin-screw extruder are the most common production processes. To improve the dispersion of pigments, some companies grind the carrier resin into powder. Internal mixer + single-screw extruder, and internal mixer + twin-screw extruder are also process technologies used to produce high-quality masterbatch.

Color Masterbatch Manufacturing Machines

From the previous section, we can see that the color masterbatch processing process involves three steps: first, the treatment of pigments; second, the initial mixing of the treated pigments with the carrier; and finally, the plastification and granulation of the mixed materials. The main equipments used to complete these three steps are as follows:

(1) Three-roll mill: Also known as a three-roll grinder, its function is to open the pigment agglomerates in the ink by squeezing them between three horizontally arranged rollers, thereby achieving the grinding effect.

(2) Mixer: A mixer is used to initially mix the pigments processed by the three-roll mill with the resin carrier. Mixers come in various structures, such as drum mixers, V-type mixers, double cone mixers, high-speed mixers, etc.

(3) Closed kneader: Also known as a kneader, it is a high-strength intermittent mixing equipment developed based on an open kneader. It mixes materials or brings materials to a specified state using two rotating rollers. The pigments and carriers initially mixed by the mixer are further mixed and plasticized by the kneader, producing semi-finished color masterbatch. The kneading chamber of the kneader is sealed, effectively improving the working environment.

Kneader Compounding Machine

(4) Continuous kneader: Kneaders work intermittently, which affects the mixing efficiency. Continuous kneaders are developed based on kneaders, greatly improving mixing efficiency.

(5) Single or twin-screw extruder: The morphology of the material kneaded by the kneader is in the form of flakes and lumps. The extruder further plastifies and granulates the crushed material, producing finished color masterbatch.

Twin-Screw-Extruder3

(6) Twin-rotor continuous mixing and granulating machine: This unit consists of a twin-rotor continuous mixer and a hot-feed extrusion granulator. Because this unit separates the mixing function from the extrusion function of the machine, it has many controllable variables and can complete mixing tasks over a wide range.

Note: the specific equipment required may vary depending on factors such as the formulation of the masterbatch, production scale, and technological preferences of the manufacturer.

Recommended Color Masterbatch Extruder

Here we recommend following GSmach extruders for you:

Type

Screw diameter (mm)

Power(kw)

Quantity (kg/h)

GS20

21.7

4

5~15

GS25

26

11

5~55

GS35

35.6

15

10~40

GS50

50.5

55

120~200

GS52

51.4

90

270~450

GS65

62.4

90

255~400

GS75

71

132

450~750

GS95

93

315

950~1600

GS135

133

750

2250~3750

GSmach extruders are suitable for various masterbatch manufacturing processes. Our twin-screw pelletizing machine series offers multiple models and configurations to cater to different masterbatch manufacturing process requirements, providing customized product recommendations and solutions to ensure customers obtain high-quality, efficient masterbatch production equipment.

GSmach extruders are characterized by high-precision dosing, optimized extrusion processes, customized production, energy optimization, and reliable quality control, providing efficient, accurate, and reliable solutions for masterbatch manufacturing processes.

If you need extruders for color masterbatch, feel free to contact us to get a free quote!

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