Overview of the most important additives and fillers for polymers

In the processing of plastic, additives offer the possibility of changing the properties of polymers and adapting them to a corresponding task. A distinction is made between additives that have an influence on the process ability of the plastic and additives that have an influence on the product properties.

Frequently used additives are listed below. At the same time, the benefits of the respective additive are briefly described.

  • Anti-blocking agents: reduction of adhesive tendency (e.g. film extrusion), improvements of flow ability (granulate, powder)
  • Antioxidants: avoiding degradation in combination with heat in the presence of oxygen
  • Antistatic: Avoidance of static charging (attraction of dirt, dust)
  • Dyes: soluble organic or inorganic pigments for colouring
  • Fillers with high aspect ratio (e.g. glass fibres): increase in strength
  • Fillers with spherical shape (e.g. glass beads): Increased stiffness
  • Lubricant: easier application, reduction of friction (heat of friction) and adhesion to surfaces
  • Adhesion promoter: Improvement of adhesion between plastics or other fillers (also coextrusion, coating)
  • Inhibitors: (e.g. to avoid reactions): Prevention of polymerization
  • Light stabilizers: Increased resistance to light irradiation
  • Nano fillers: Fillers smaller than 100nm to increase modulus of elasticity, tensile strength, heat resistance, barrier properties
  • Radical generators (e.g. peroxides): activation of polymerization
  • Flame retardancy additives (e.g. halogen, chlorinated paraffin, bromine compounds, etc.): reduction of flammability. Self-extinguishing
  • Foaming agent: foaming in polymers
  • Release agent: reduction of demoulding forces (e.g. injection moulding)
  • UV stabilizer: increased resistance to UV radiation
  • Heat stabilizers: increased resistance to heat
  • Plasticizers: increased in elasticity, decrease in hardness

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