Expanded Polyesterine EPS

A full guide on Coloring EPS

A flexible, clean and cost-effective coloring process is a key requirement for manufacturers of expanded (EPS) polystyrene. But in an age of brand differentiation and the need for clear product identification, colors are another and increasingly important necessity.

Holland Colours has over 40 years of experience in colorants for building and construction applications, like EPS. As the thought leaders in this field, we have developed a full guide that covers some valuable information before you go into action.

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Benefits at a glance

What Are The Benefits Of Coloring Eps?

Coloring something is a great way to make brands stand out, identify products and increase workplace health and safety. Today, this trend is growing in both the Building & Construction and the Packaging industries. Using a suitable colorant, expanded polystyrene can be made any color you want – blue polystyrene, red, green, yellow, gray and off-white are all common. But you can have any color you want. As long as it’s not black!

You can color expanded polystyrene for:

  • Health and safety reasons
  • Brand differentiation in Building & Construction/insulation
  • To make non-food product packaging part of the brand experience
Benefits of coloring EPS
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Options and suitability

What Choice Of Colors Do I Have?

The quality of colored EPS – its performance, color depth and color homogeneity – depends on the kind of colorant you use and how much. Holcobatch® is a wax-based colorant that smears over the surface when melted and mixed with the EPS beads.

All Holcobatch® colorants for EPS beads are suitable for use in block molding, sheet molding and transfer molding production processes. They require no additional fixing agents during the expansion process and no changes in the standard extrusion temperature profile. Key compound end-properties such as insulation and flame retardance are not affected by coloring with Holcobatch®. As well as a standard color palette, we can develop customized shades for specific needs.

We advise a dosing level of between 0.05% and 0.5% when dosing EPS for both batch and continuous coloring. Holcobatch®’s benefits:.

  • Dust-free thanks to encapsulated and free-flowing pigment concentrate
  • Fast acting microbead format with average diameter of 500-750 microns
  • Carrier melting point of just 85°C
  • Colors self-adhere to the surface of the EPS beads
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Difficulty and help

Is it easy to color EPS?

It is if you use Holcobatch® colorants from Holland Colours! EPS is suitable for use in block molding, sheet molding and transfer molding production processes. There is no need to use additional fixing agents during the expansion process and it doesn’t affect the standard extrusion temperature profile. Key compound end-properties such as insulation and flame retardance are also not affected by coloring products with Holcobatch®.

We recommend a maximum dose of 0.5% Holcobatch®. More than this can affect the integrity of the final product, though this may not matter depending on what it is and its intended use. A 0.5% dose is enough to create strong and attractive pastel shades. Deep colors and blacks are not possible. As well as a standard color palette, we can develop customized shades for specific needs.

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Explainer video

Video explanation

Do you want to learn more about how to color EPS? Coloring EPS has never been this easy! Our all-time best-seller Holcobatch® will do the job. 

FDA Compliance

Can someone help me color expanded polystyrene (EPS) beads?

Holcobatch® is suitable for food contact applications according to the EU and FDA regulations and it is widely used to color PET bottles, for example. However, the way Holcobatch® colors EPS beads is not approved for food-contact use. This means you cannot, at present, use Holcobatch® to color food-contact polystyrene products.

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Equipment

Do I Need Special Equipment To Color Expanded Polystyrene Beads?

You don’t need any extra equipment to color EPS beads. Just add the colorant manually in the expander/extruder. However, an automated feeder is useful when colored EPS is frequently produced. The Holcobatch® colorant is directly fed into the expander.

We have equipment suitable for batch and continuous production. Holland Colours recommends the Movacolor T-Kit dosing unit.

Equipment

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Coloring EPS

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Support and Service

Ongoing support from a specialist

Besides providing tailored product solutions, we can help you overcome your technology or processing challenges. It could be switching from one colorant to another, or simply fine-tuning your production for optimum efficiency.

Our service technicians and color experts know and understand today’s industry and  can help you achieve the exact color results and features you want.

HCA- EU technology- MH, EH