For more than 65 years Karl Finke GmbH & Co. KG has specialized in assisting plastics processors, designers and brand manufacturers in the quick and economic conversion of their color designs into production stage products. Finke’s competence in plastics coloring is founded on long standing tradition. For more than 65 years Karl Finke GmbH & Co. KG has developed granulated masterbatches, pigment powders, liquid dyes and coloring pastes in Wuppertal, Germany. In addition to its own colorant developments Finke offers a wide range of sales products, enabling the company to supply tailor made solutions for almost any kind of plastic material. At Finke’s well equipped technical center, specific production conditions can be simulated, ranging from various injection molding and extrusion methods to blow molding. All common plastic materials, especially PE, PP and PET can be processed to form injection-molded caps, blow-molded bottles and blown or cast films and sheets, so plastics processors can easily assess the effect of a colorant in their application, saving valuable time in color matching.
State-of-the-art technical center
Finke places great emphasis on continuous investments in its own technical center and analytics department. The right dye or pigment composition does not only depend on the polymer and envisaged application, but also to a large extend on the type of processing. Therefore Finke simulates individual production conditions of numerous processing methods on state-of-the-art equipment. Most consumer items made from plastics are produced by injection molding. To meet the demand for individual product samples at all times, the company operates several injection molding machines in Wuppertal.
The color impression of a colorant in an injection-molded product is not necessarily the same in an extruded product. As the polymer is being stretched in the extrusion process, as opposed to being compressed during injection molding, even the same pigment produces a different effect. As a rule Finke provides color samples according to the manufacturer’s type of processing and application, so he can make a reliable color decision very quickly. No time consuming additional color matching is necessary duringproduct development. Finke’s technical center is equipped with the technology to produce PE and PP sample bottles. Product samples, for example for cosmetic bottles, are produced here, using mono- and co-extrusion processes. Recently the company has installed a new blow molding system for colored PET-bottles, as used in the beverage industry, speeding up the conversion of color concepts into production stage coloring and additive systems for this material as well.
Films and sheets
Blown films as well as cast films can be produced on several extruders to test the colorant’s properties during the production process. As the polymer material is stretched during film production the colorant is put under physical strain as well. Each formula for film applications should therefore be tested in a process that involves stretching in order to make sure the product shows the right properties and produces the envisaged effect on the processors own machine. In film applications embedded pigments must harmonize extremely well with the carrier polymer. Especially for cast films, sampling is of great importance to test properties and light fastness of the product in advance.