Holcobatch®: more than just another masterbatch
To learn more about Holcobatch®, we asked Holland Colours’ Nico Beekman, Manager Color Design & QC, Europe, and Jim Spehar, Field Technician, Americas, for their expertise in telling us more about the flagship product...
1. What is Holcobatch® and how does it differ from a standard masterbatch?
Holcobatch® is a small, spherical particle of generally <1 mm based on non-resin carrier, pigments, additives and fillers. It differs from masterbatch because masterbatch is based on, for instance, polyethylene and pigment.
Holcobatch® is a highly loaded, micro granular color and/or additive concentrate that utilizes a non-resin, fully natural and sustainable carrier system with an average particle size of 300-500 micron. Masterbatch colorant typically contains less color or additive loading and utilizes resin-based carrier systems in a wide-ranging particle size of 2000-4000 micron.
2. What makes Holcobatch® so unique?
N. Beekman: Holcobatch® is unique because you can use it in many types of plastic. Because we use all kinds of carriers, we can handle the rheologic behavior of plastic.
J. Spehar: Holcobatch® products are highly loaded micro granules utilizing a proprietary natural and sustainable non resin-based carrier system. They have a low temperature melting point giving quick and optimal homogenization of Holcobatch® into the base resins of the customer.
3. What gives Holcobatch® advantages over masterbatch?
N. Beekman: You can use masterbatch in only one type of plastic. With Holcobatch®, you can use it in almost every type of plastic.
J. Spehar: Holcobatch®, in most instances, can be loaded with a greater % of pigments, additives and dyes versus a masterbatch to allow for a lower let down ratio into the base resin. The lower LDR can be both a process advantage as well as an economic benefit to the customer. Also, since less Holcobatch® is required to be used versus a masterbatch, lower shipping costs and reduced storage space requirements are key economic advantages.
4. What is Holcobatch® used for and how is it used?
N. Beekman: The biggest market for Holcobatch® is PVC. Sometimes, Holcobatch® is mixed into the silo which is filled with PVC. But, most commonly, it is dosed directly into the extruder, together with the PVC resin. Holcobatch® usage is also a great opportunity for cleaning extrusion parts because of its slight lubricant property.
J. Spehar: Holcobatch® is used to color and incorporate various additives into a wide range of plastic products. It is used by dosing the amount required into the plastic resin as parts are being produced in real time at our customers’ manufacturing locations.
5. When was Holcobatch® launched?
N. Beekman: Holcobatch® was launched in 1979 in The Netherlands. And even though we have created other products along the way, it remains our flagship product and is still unique in the plastics industry.
J. Spehar: Holcobatch® was introduced in the Americas in 1986. It was a true innovation in the plastics industry and remains on the cutting edge of colorants and additives even today.
6. Who created Holcobatch® and why?
N. Beekman: Holcobatch® was created by Dick Knol, one of the founders of HCA, in cooperation with one our largest PVC customers. It was created because the PVC industry didn't want to work with dusty raw pigments anymore.
J. Spehar: Holcobatch® was created by one of the Dutch founders in an effort to eliminate the use of dusty, difficult to handle pigments in the plastics industry.
Click here for an interview with Mr. Knol.
7. Is Holcobatch® a colorant or an additive?
N. Beekman: Holcobatch® offers a lot of opportunities for use. It can be a colorant but it can also be an additive such as LightGuard, Tintmask or FastHeat for PET.
J. Spehar: Holcobatch® can be formulated and produced to be used as both. For example, LightGuard can block UV light and be incorporated with a colorant in the same Holcobatch® formulation so the end product has color and light protection. Holcobatch® can also be formulated as LightGuard only or solely as a colorant. Holcobatch® formulations are flexible to meet the needs of our customers.
8. What kind of support is available when a customer decides to try Holcobatch®?
N. Beekman: We provide technical support for Holcobatch® (and all of our products!) all over the world.
J. Spehar: Holland Colours provides a wide range of support when a customer tries a sample of Holcobatch®. Examples would be: A dedicated client success coordinator as a point of instant contact; technical data sheets; certificates of analysis; FDA or other compliance data and information; a custom-made Holcobatch® sample at no cost; loaner dosing equipment (if required) and onsite technical assistance with hands-on training of the customers’ employees. For applications that require laboratory diagnosis, such as weathering, Holland Colours also provides both accelerated and real time L*A*B* color performance data and analysis.
9. Why does Holcobatch® appear more costly than masterbatch per volume equivalent?
N. Beekman: Holcobatch® is a highly loaded product of small particle size based on a low melt-point carrier. Therefore, dosing is much lower than with masterbatch. For example: To dose masterbatch, you may need 2 parts per hundred against Holcobatch® at 0.5-1 pph.
J. Spehar: This is due to Holland Colours’ unique ability to produce a higher loaded Holcobatch® formulation than what is possible in a typical masterbatch. To achieve the same color result, a customer typically has to use a significantly larger quantity of masterbatch vs. a highly concentrated Holcobatch®. Holland Colours provides customers quick and easy cost comparison/let down ratio models to verify the cost savings achieved when utilizing Holcobatch® vs. masterbatch.
10. Regarding the future of plastics, how will Holcobatch® play a role moving forward?
N. Beekman: Our R&T department is constantly busy developing new combinations of pigments, carriers, plastics and additives for new markets. Also, recycling of plastics and how Holcobatch® can play a role is an area getting much attention.
J. Spehar: The ongoing social and economic trends towards reduced use of plastic resins, light-weighting of plastic products and increased recycling are the future of plastics. Because Holcobatch® already utilizes a non-resin, fully natural and renewable sustainable carrier system, it provides the requirements to meet future demands better than resin-based carrier systems in masterbatch. And, Holland Colours Holcobatch® toners, such as Tintmask, allow our customers to use up to 100% recycled resin in their products today.
If you have more technical questions or would like to know how Holcobatch® can reduce your company costs and environmental footprint, please contact us.