Technology Offer of TU Berlin

Metall Effect Pigments for reduced Flow Lines, their Manufacturing and Machine Technology

Patent #18044/TUB
Background
Filling polymers with metal effect pigments is a key technology to achieve metallic appearances of injection moulded polymer parts while avoiding additional coating steps. Conventionally, metallic appearance is generated due to the orientation of planar metal effect pigment particles in the flow direction of the polymer melt, usually parallel to the part surface in order to reflect light to the viewer. Nevertheless, where polymer fronts merge, the particle orientation is disturbed (Fig. 1), resulting in locally enhanced light scattering and thus creating dark streaks in the solidified polymer part, called flow lines.
Technical Description
The invention presented here solves this problem by introducing novel pigment particle geometries, preferably such as tetrahedrons, pyramids and cubes. By the geometry, the degree of parallel particle orientation can be regulated and the flow line visibility reduced (Fig. 2). Moreover, the degree of the flop can be regulated. There are broad varieties of possible manufacturing methods of the novel metal effect pigments such as cold forming, rolling, pressing, molding, and machining. The pigments, consisting of aluminium, copper, brass or coated polymer, can be used in common polymer processing, such as injection molding and extrusion.
Possible Applications
Colouring of plastics to achieve metallic apperarance.
Figure 1: Schematic representatin of the pigment orientation of a) conventional platelet particles and b) novel tetrahedral particles.
Benefits
  1. Eliminated flow lines in effect pigment filled polymer parts, independant of the part geometry
  2. Simple pigment manufacturing
  3. Large variety of possible pigment particle geometries
  4. [...] further benefits online
Technology Readiness Level Small scale prototype (TRL: 4)
Property Rights
pending: EP
Patent Holder
Technische Universität Berlin
Possible Cooperation
  • R&D Cooperation
  • Patent Purchase
  • Licensing
Contact Details
Ina KrügerLicense Manager
+49 (0)30 314-75916ina.krueger@tu-berlin.de
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