The Benefits of Using Plastic Antioxidant Blends in Your Manufacturing Process
Plastic products, though durable and flexible, are always at a risk of degradation due to environmental factors like oxygen, UV light and high temperature. Plastic additives are an important part of plastic manufacturing as they prevent plastic degradation.
What Are Plastic Antioxidant Blends?
Plastic antioxidants are elements that prevent thermal oxidation in plastics. There are two types of plastic antioxidants.
Primary plastic antioxidants: Primary antioxidants are designed to protect the finished product. They are sterically hindered phenols and function by donating their reactive hydrogen to the peroxy free radical so that free radicals do not occur. The antioxidant free radical is then rendered stable by electron delocalization. Some commonly used primary antioxidants are amines and phenolics.
Secondary plastic antioxidants: Unlike primary antioxidants, secondary antioxidants are used to stabilize plastics during processing. They are used in combination with primary antioxidants to prevent the proliferation of alkoxyl and hydroxyl radicals by decomposing hydroperoxides into nonreactive products. Some examples of secondary plastic antioxidants are organophosphates, thioesters and deactivators.
What Are Free Radicals and Antioxidants?
Before getting into how plastic antioxidants work, let’s look at what free radicals are. Free radicals are uncharged, unstable molecules that occur due to oxidation, i.e., a chemical reaction that moves electrons from existing molecules. Iron gets rusted when it encounters with oxygen as the iron molecules lose electrons while the oxygen molecules gain electrons.
In the human body, oxidation occurs during metabolism, and this process quickens when exposed to toxins such as tobacco smoke. Over time, oxidation can damage cells and speed up the ageing process.
How Do Antioxidants Work?
Plastic antioxidants neutralize free radical molecules that speed up the process of oxidation, which can damage the plastic. They work by inhibiting the oxidation process by reacting and decomposing the reactive species. The degree of reactivity provided by various antioxidant types varies. You might have heard of how antioxidants like vitamin C, beta carotene and lycopene slow down the attack of free radicals on your cells. Plastic antioxidants work in the same way.
Generally, primary and secondary antioxidant blends are used together to obtain a superior outcome. During injection molding, phosphites are used to stabilize the plastic during the melting process, while thioethers are used in plastics that are frequently exposed to heat.
Antioxidants also prevent and slow down the degradation of polymers due to ozone. While this can affect rubber, where ozone can lead to cracking, but it can also affect plastics.
Benefits Of Plastic Antioxidants
- ENHANCED MECHANICAL PROPERTIES: Plastic additives are used to improve the mechanical properties of plastics, like its strength, toughness and stiffness. For example, fillers such as glass fibres or talc can be incorporated into the plastic to reinforce its strength and stiffness. Moreover, additives like plasticizers can be used to improve the flexibility of plastics.
- IMPROVED PROCESSING CHARACTERISTICS: Plastic antioxidant blends improve the processing characteristics of plastics like the melt flow rate, viscosity and temperature stability. Lubricants and processing aids can also be added to improve their processing characteristics and lower processing costs.
- BETTER DURABILITY: Plastic antioxidants improve the durability of plastics, making them more resistant to corrosion and degradation due to exposure to heat, light and chemicals. Flame retardants can also be incorporated into plastics to reduce their flammability for applications where fire resistance is a necessity.
- IMPROVED AESTHETICS: Additives like colourants, pigments, opaque colours, and dyes can be added to plastics to enhance their appearance or match the application’s colour.
- REDUCES COSTS: Additives are an inexpensive way to add bulk to a polymer as they reduce the amount of base polymer needed. Plastic antioxidant blends usually include calcium carbonate, silica, glass fibres and carbon black minerals.
- REDUCES FLAMMABILITY: Flame retardants are a type of plastic additive used to prevent, delay or slow down the process of combustion. They can be either organic or inorganic and added into the base polymer during the plastic processing stage. There are different ways how they work to reduce flammability, creating a foam or through chemical and decomposition reactions. Flame retardants are commonly used in electrical products to prevent the ignition and burning of plastic components. Halogens, phosphorus and nitrogen chemistries are common in flame retarding plastic antioxidant blends.
About Vinati Organics
Vinati Organics is renowned chemical manufacturer and a global leader in manufacturing and supplying multiple antioxidants like Veenox 1010, Veenox 1098, Veenox 1076, Veenox L135, Veenox 168, Veenox B225 and Veenox B 215. While manufacturing these antioxidants, we follow stringent industry standards and regulations so that our customers get top-quality chemical products. We have a sustained market presence in more than 35 countries in the world and supply our chemical products to some of the largest industrial and chemical products in the US, Europe and Asia. Contact us today for more details on antioxidants.