Answers For Frequently Asked Color Questions

Lab Equipment

Color FAQs

What is a Cube Blend?

A cube blend, also referred to as a salt & pepper mix, is a proportional mix that combines a masterbatch and natural polymer into a ready-to-use package. Color consistency and quality is ensured by RTP Company and the processor avoids steps related to blending or metering accuracy. One of the main advantages compared to precolored resin is that the majority of the polymer has not been previously melted by compounding, thus preserving its original properties.

What is the difference between a masterbatch and precolored resin?

A masterbatch is pre-dispersed concentrated color that is let down with natural polymer during molding. With a precolor all the polymer is entirely compounded with the proper amount of color and delivered ready-to-use, eliminating metering and dispersion difficulties. A masterbatch offers economic advantages associated with resin purchasing and color obsolescence. Additionally, since masterbatches are not fully compounded most of the polymer used does not exhibit an additional heat history, potentially deteriorating the properties of some polymers.

How do I obtain the lowest cost of color for my plastics products?

Using masterbatches allows the processor to maximize their purchasing power by buying larger amounts of natural polymer. That advantage, plus lower obsolescence costs invested in end of life colors as products change give masterbatches a great economic benefit over other modes of color delivery.

Processors can also take advantage of masterbatch cost incentives, but avoid difficulties associated with monitoring proper metering by using a cube blend.

What is a masterbatch?

A masterbatch, also referred to as a concentrate, is a package for coloring plastics. Pigments, dyes, or other additives are dispersed into a polymer carrier which is extruded and pelletized. Those pellets are metered, or let down, into natural polymer, using a predefined ratio, during the molding process where additional mixing colors the resin entirely. Normal addition rates vary from 1 to 4%.

The development phase of our product is in the USA but the manufacturing is in Asia, can RTP Company make the product available in Asia?

RTP Company uses the same production procedures, color matching equipment, and raw materials worldwide to ensure that our products can be manufactured to the same standards from one location to the next. Our production facilities are situated in the United States, Singapore, China, and France to be close to the world’s largest manufacturing centers.

Can I order a masterbatch with light stabilizers or other additives with and/or without color?

Our products can be designed to meet a single or multiple requirements. You can select a standard offering from our color products and easily combine it with a standard additive masterbatch as well. Our additive masterbatches are designed to provide UV protection, antimicrobial protection, foaming, and other functional modifications for many polymers.

How do I order a sample?

RTP Company has a team of dedicated Color Account Managers that can assist with your color selection and development needs as well as cost analysis for various color delivery vehicles. Additionally, our local Sales Engineers are professionally trained to handle color issues and can offer expertise in additional areas of application development and material customization. The People Finder feature of our website can put in touch with the RTP Company representative that services your geographic area and business type.

How do I contact someone to discuss my application?

RTP Company has a team of dedicated Color Account Managers that can assist with your color selection and development needs as well as cost analysis for various color delivery vehicles. Additionally, our local Sales Engineers are professionally trained to handle color issues and can offer expertise in additional areas of application development and material customization. The People Finder feature of our website can put in touch with the RTP Company representative that services your geographic area and business type.

Can you provide single product solution for various resin systems?

RTP Company’s UniColor® line of universal masterbatches is designed specifically to satisfy the need for a multi-purpose product capable of coloring a wide range of resin systems. However, the use of a single product does have limitations and color differences are expected due to differences in resin opacity and inherent natural hues.

Therefore, we also offer the ability to create precise custom matches to a single target for different polymers. This allows you to design using the benefits of differing polymer characteristics for individual components, but maintain uniform aesthetics in finished goods.

What markets do you serve?

RTP Company routinely supplies materials used in the aerospace, appliance, automotive and transportation, business machines and office supply, construction, consumer goods, electronics and connectors, fluid handling, industrial equipment and power tools, healthcare, military/government, packaging for food articles or sensitive electronics, sporting goods and recreation markets.

Where are your facilities?

We have seven regional facilities in the United States, Europe, and Asia allowing us to serve our customers across the globe in a timely and personal manner. Our domestic sites begin with our company headquarters located in Winona, MN and reach around the country from Fort Worth, Texas to Indianapolis, Indiana and South Boston, Virginia. Our European base is centrally located in Beaune, France and Asia is well supported from Singapore in the south to Suzhou, China in the north.

What are the benefits of your standard product line?

When a standard color is chosen development and lead times are generally shorter and economies of scale can be realized over comparable custom colors. These colors also have a proven history of success in many applications and a wide acceptance in the marketplace. Standard colors are available in the following resins: PP, ABS, POM, Nylon 6, PC, PMMA, PEEK, PBT, LCP, TPE, PSU, TPU, PES, and PEI.

What forms of colored products do you offer?

Colored materials may be masterbatch concentrates, salt & pepper cube blends, or precolored resin and compounds. RTP Company is committed to providing solutions in whichever mode of color delivery you are most comfortable working with.

Can you provide solutions that are heavy metal free or satisfy other regulatory concerns?

Our solutions are designed with maximum performance in mind, including concerns for food contact, medical applications, CONEG, etc. Our products include lead- and cadmium- free color offerings in standard colors for select resin systems or custom matches that meet your precise specifications.

Do you monitor your raw materials?

All incoming raw materials are approved by Quality Control prior to use and receive a bar coded label for internal tracking purposes. Many are subjected to tests in their intended application. Further, our vendors are continually monitored to ensure a uniform supply of materials that meets established requirements.

How do you control and identify your products?

Every batch produced is given a unique lot number for both backward and forward traceability. Each shipment is double-checked for conformance to the customer’s standing and special requirements.

How do you insure quality and consistency?

Our production facilities are ISO 9001:2000 registered and every batch produced is closely monitored. Samples are taken at key points in the manufacturing process and further processing cannot continue without Quality Control approval.

No product leaves our facilities without first undergoing a battery of tests to determine that the material meets or exceeds the specifications established for that product. After meeting approval with specifications, each batch is further processed to ensure uniformity throughout.

How long will it take to receive my match?

RTP Company can respond with a masterbatch solution in three working days and with precolored solutions in five days.

Can you reference industry standards?

RTP Company maintains an extensive library of active formulations. Which includes formulations that are cross-referenced to industry standards such as Pantone, Munsell, RAL, etc.

How are colors matched?

All color matches are completed utilizing ASTM and RTP Company documented test procedures. The final match is examined both visually and instrumentally. Instrumental analysis of the spectral data for each match is available with exhibits and lab samples.

 

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