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NIR-detectable Silver-Masterbatches

In a similar way to black polymers and packaging, products with metallic effects can cause detection problems in recycling. Together with Eckart, a leading manufacturer of metallic effect and pearl pigments, Lifocolor has developed masterbatch solutions that can be detected.

Metal effect pigments give masterbatches an attractive look and remain very much in demand for successful product design. However they can make detection for the recycling process more difficult.
In recycling plants, polymers are sorted using near-infrared technology (NIR), which sorts polymer fractions in split seconds and can simultaneously sort materials according to colour and polymer type with a precision of a few millimetres. In addition to black formulations with carbon black components that absorb the wavelengths, polymers with conventional metal pigments are also harder or even impossible to recognise. These effect colours act like microscopic mirrors and scattering centres, which can lead to an attenuation of the reflected NIR signal.

By combining selected effect pigments, Eckart’s new product series has successfully created attractive silver effects with a high degree of NIR detectability. These products have been developed especially for the requirements of recycling plants and automated sorting.

Lifocolor is using these NIR silver pigments for a successful design for recycling approach via the masterbatch. The sorting properties of four example formulas for HDPE and PP have been successfully tested in further cooperation with a renowned recycling company.

We would be happy to advise you on how your individual silver colour can be formulated to be recyclable for your specific polymer and processing method.

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