Meeting Expectations Relies On Early Decisions

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Knowing the color match guidelines early in the design process benefits customers, molders, and the compounder, according to Bruce Vietor, RTP Company Technical Service Representative.

Several variables contribute to the perceived color of a final application. Surface finish and lighting conditions can dramatically impact part appearance.

"When customers request color matches, it’s important they communicate everything they know about the application," Vietor says. "Surface texture is just as important as lighting conditions, as both will affect the perceived color of a part. Resin selection can limit or broaden the ability to meet coloring requirements." A complete description of the part’s working environment is vital to the process.

The Color Match Process

RTP Company bases color matches on part samples or specifications furnished by the customer.

Customer-supplied standards serve as targets for colorists. Chip samples are produced based on the physical, electrical, thermal and aesthetic requirements of the application.

RTP Company colorists then evaluate these chips for matching. This process varies, but commonly involves assessing the color under multiple lighting conditions. For opaque applications, these include ultraviolet, incandescent, fluorescent and daylights. For backlit applications, the specific lighting condition is duplicated in a lab environment for evaluation.

Potential matches are sent to the customer for review and the selected color is specified before production.

Color chips can be produced with a variety of finishes, from bright polish to coarse textures. Chip selection is critical, as it must closely resemble the final application for accurate interpretation.

Customers are encouraged to work closely with their RTP Company sales representative to determine exact color requirements before sampling begins.

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