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    UV Additives for Plastic: The Key Ingredient to Long Lasting Plastic Products

    Ultraviolet light damages more than just our skin and eyes: it also harms polymers and plastic products. That’s why leading plastic additive and masterbatch manufacturers such as Tosaf formulate advanced UV absorbers that protect plastic from UV degradation. 

    This article discusses one of the most important additives of them all: UV additives for plastic. Our goal is to describe why these additives are so important, their impact on plastic product characteristics, and how major industries benefit from their use. That said, this article is designed as an introduction of sorts, so it’s only natural that you may have questions. If you want more information on UV absorbers and stabilizers, we’re be happy to comply. Feel free to contact us. 

    165 words about UV light

    UV light has a pretty bad reputation, which is not very surprising, since it is a form of electromagnetic radiation. Ultraviolet light can be generated from a wide range of sources, including ones that are constructed artificially, like UV lamps. But most UV light reaches us via sunlight. 

    When we go to the beach and get a sunburn, we can blame UV light for that. UV light is strong, and just as it harms the skin, it can also harm plastic. It is so strong, that scientists have been able to use it to destroy viruses and bacteria that are present in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the surfaces we touch.

    When UV light damages something – for example a plastic product’s color or texture – this is called UV degradation. This is an extremely bad scenario for plastic products and their respective manufacturers, because degradation changes the product’s characteristics and reduces its lifecycle. 

    And this is where UV additives for plastic enter the picture.

    Absorbing UV, Saving Plastic

    Like other plastic additives and masterbatches, UV additives for plastic are mixed into the raw polymer during the manufacturing process, in order to provide the finished products with a UV blocking quality that prevents or significantly stalls degradation.

    UV additives, which are also known as UV absorbers and stabilizers, are chemically formulated to absorb the high energy of ultraviolet light and protect the plastic product from exposure to this energy. With UV additives, the plastic products do not come in contact with most of the UV light’s harmful radiation.

    The reason leading additives manufacturers like Tosaf invest in UV additive R&D is that many industries use plastic products that are regularly exposed to sunlight. 

    When formulating a UV additive, Tosaf takes the following parameters into consideration:

    • Climate Environments: UV absorbers are formulated in accordance with the designated product’s exposure to the outdoors, direct sun and specific climate conditions. 
    • Chemical Environments: Each plastic product has its own chemical characteristics, and must respond to different conditions. To be truly effective, a UV blocking additive must be formulated in accordance with these predetermined characteristics – including other additives that are blended into the polymer during the manufacturing process.
    • Color: Some colors and hues have a higher tendency for UV degradation than others. UV additives can protect all plastic colors, but they must be added to the polymer only after they have been fitted to the product’s designated color characteristics.
    • Life Cycle: Not all plastic products have the same lifecycle. Some products are planned for shorter lifecycles, and some are expected to live very long. UV additives are designed to fit precise service life expectancies, in order to prolong them as required.

    Now let’s look at some of the industries that use UV additives for their products:

    How does the automotive industry benefit from UV absorbers?

    Car interiors and exteriors incorporate numerous plastic components that must comply with functionality and color standards. The problem is that cars spend a majority of their lifecycles in the sun. Tosaf’s UV stabilizer masterbatch protects rear and front bumpers, mud guards, spoilers, trims, headliners, instrument panels, door panels and other components from color degradation and cracking.

    Does the building & construction industry use UV stabilizers?

    It certainly does. PC sheets, which have replaced glass in many buildings worldwide, must be protected from UV light. The same goes for corrugated sheets, PP sheets and multi-wall sheets. To this end, Tosaf manufactures advanced UV stabilizers for polycarbonate, which protects a wide range of products from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light. 

    Does Tosaf manufacture UV additives for the food packaging industry?

    Yes. Tosaf offers its clients a wide UV stabilizer for polyethylene portfolio, which includes solutions that protect PE films used in food packaging. Tosaf’s selection includes a food-approved UV stabilizer that makes a significant impact in reducing UV-based degradation.

    What about UV solutions for the agriculture industry?

    If there’s one industry that absolutely relies on plastic films that incorporate UV masterbatches, it’s the agriculture industry. Greenhouse films are exposed to UV light and therefore must be protected; Tosaf offers UV additives that offer a high chemical resistance to sulphur, which has replaced traditional pesticides, as well as a UV masterbatch that prevents harmful UV light from compromising film integrity and attracting crop-infecting insects.  

    Tosaf’s UV masterbatches are also suitable for shade and mesh nets, tarpaulin films and bale nets and twines, which are normally manufactured at very high extrusion temperatures.

    Tosaf is an expert UV stabilizer manufacturer. If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more about UV additives for plastic, please contact us. We will happily provide you with more information.

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