Achieved using a select group of pigments, special effects are increasingly favoured in the design of modern plastic components. Our special effects portfolio has been utilised by brands such as Nescafe, Glade, V05 and Sensodyne. If you’re seeking visual distinction, then our special effect masterbatches can give your products the edge over your competitors’. Masterbatch typically forms a very small proportion of overall material and production costs, but a little extra investment here can make a huge difference to your plastic packaging or end product.
Broadway’s range of special effects for plastics
Here are our most popular special effects, favoured by brand owners and plastic moulders. Combined with custom colours, the possibilities are almost limitless.
The main metallic pigments consist of aluminium, bronze and copper powders. These are produced in a variety of particle sizes and colours to give coarse or smooth effects. They are commonly used in the automotive industry. The particle size of the metallic pigment is particularly important with issues such as weld or flow lines in the final moulding.
Sparkle pigments offer a very striking appearance, elevating the visual impact of plastic items. They fall into the same category as Metallic pigments. Coloured flecks of aluminium are used to provide the effect. Available in a variety of particle sizes to achieve a coarse or smooth effect. Sparkle effects are popular in moulding applications such as caps, electric toothbrushes, automotive dashboards and artificial marble – to create the metallic sparkling effect.
Pearlescent pigments are made of granules of mica coated in titanium dioxide. The mica can also be coated in other pigments to give a variety of colour effects. Differences in manufacturing can be employed to produce two and three coloured effects, the perceived colour will change depending on the angle the surface of the plastic is viewed at. Like metallic pigments, pearlescent pigments come in a number of particle sizes – providing smoother or coarser effects. This effect is popular in the automotive industry, with applications such as coatings as well as injection and blow mouldings.
According to our customers, Broadway’s frosted effect is the only PET effect on the market to give a true frosted finish. Utilised in injection stretch blow moulding, this effect is particularly useful in trans colours. In opaque colours, the effect is great in allowing a matt finish to be achieved, without the need to change or modify your tool. The effect does not impact printing or labelling, further increasing its versatility. The beauty of this effect is that it can be added to any existing PET colour you have. The effect can be supplied within a colour masterbatch, or, as an additive for natural bottles or to combine with existing stock colours.
Interference pigments fall into the same category as pearlescent colours. Titanium coating is used to create interference. As the thickness of the titanium coating is increased, interference of visible reflected light takes place. Three colours can then be seen, subject to the colorants used, backgrounds and viewing angle.
These effects incorporate small fibres in to the polymer. Different particle sizes can be used to deliver a range of special effects in a wide variety of polymers. They are mainly used as a decorative addition to the final moulding. These effects typically provide a matt finish and are utilised in household items such as plant pots, waste bins and utensils. Broadway is currently developing a new range of fibre and speckle effects utilising sustainable materials.
Our marble effects provide a great solution for anyone looking to produce one-of-a-kind mouldings. The marble effect is achieved by dosing a carefully curated masterbatch mix under specific processing conditions. This results in a random, marble-like appearance, meaning no two mouldings will ever look exactly the same. Our marble effects are typically compatible with polyolefins and are suitable for applications such as HDPE bottles, LDPE tubes and PP caps.
These effects do rely on the moulder to achieve the optimum processing conditions.
Traditionally, containers have been marked with printing to add information such as lot numbers and sell-by dates. By using an additive masterbatch the surface of the plastic can be marked directly using an industrial laser. The advantage of using lasers over labels is their flexibility. With labels, a slight change to the spec could mean scrapping printed labels and starting again, incurring greater costs for design, print and application. With lasers, a simple programming adjustment is all that’s required. Laser-marking can also be utilised for decorative applications and for marking plastic keys, tags and buttons. This additive can be combined with other effects to provide visual enhancements at the same time. Often used in the packaging of consumer goods, this effect offers the ultimate solution for marking your products quickly, permanently and cost effectively.
Fluorescent pigments will flouresce under an ultra-violet light and will be far brighter than any organic or inorganic pigments. This effect is popular in outdoor applications such as decorative and protective clothing.
Luminescent pigments will glow in the dark when no light is available. They absorb invisible UV radiation and emit the energy as visible light of a particular colour. Our eyes perceive this light as a glow. Luminescent effects are commonly used in safety signs as well as packaging and toys.
These pigments respond to light and will change colour in natural daylight. Photochromic effects are generally used in promotional items and toys.
These pigments change colour when the polymer is subjected to heat. The pigments can be tailor made to change from one specified colour to another. A range of colours are achievable. The colours can also be engineered to change at specific temperatures. Thermochromic effects are popular in household applications such as spoons, bowls, stirrers, mugs, temperature sensors.
This is our effect of the month for September 🐓🥚🐣
This cracking speckle effect is achieved with a plastic compound containing up to 50% ground egg shell! Utilising a naturally occurring, sustainable, bio-waste material, this effect offers environmental benefits. The bio-sourced additive doesn’t require the energy-consuming chemical reaction used in the production of fossil fuel based resins, meaning the carbon footprint of the moulding is substantially reduced. It also provides a use for material which would otherwise go to landfill.
This effect is approved for food contact and is suitable for various applications including branded packaging and household items such as containers, plant pots and utensils. With a rustic appearance and environmental appeal, this effect will suit any brand wishing to reduce their dependence on fossil fuel based plastics, embrace new materials and wear their aesthetic as a badge of honour. The example shows a natural plaque with no colourants, however we can provide this effect in a range of colours.
Effect of the month
Our colour and effect masterbatches in branded products
Our colour and effect masterbatches have been used in branded products for many years. Our special effects offer a high-quality solution to plastic moulders and brand owners. They’ve proven to be popular in the cosmetics and personal care markets in particular.