Utilizing Effective Color Target Technology to Hit the Mark in Plastic Measurement

Color target technology has revolutionized the plastic industry with near-perfect color matching capabilities. From prosthetics and maxillofacial reconstruction in the medical field to innovative building materials in industrial and high-tech industries, new color target measurement applications continue to flood the market and have made a huge progression since their early stages of development. Color target technology in polymer production now replaces other more expensive materials and manufacturers are excited about the possibilities for products to take nearly any shape, size, or form. With the right color measurement tools, meeting color target demands is both simple and efficient.

plastic fruit color target
Color target technology has come a long way since its early stages of development. The fake looking “bowl of plastic fruit” days are over and near-perfect replications of day to day items can now be manufactured with advanced polymer color technology.
Image Source: Flickr user Sarah Morris

Color Matching

Color matching can be a complex and tedious task, but with advanced color target technology the job is quick, effective, and, most importantly, easy to replicate. New color matching technology allows manufacturers to attain a variety of color targets to meet the numerous demands of consumers. Revolutionary instrumentation can store color target data for repeated production and consistent results. Advanced color measurement instrumentation transfers this data from the color target samples to polymer material for precise color reproduction every time.

Perfect color matches can be created to replicate virtually any sample.1 Whether working with plastic plaques or samples to other non-polymer sample colors, spectrophotometers take the guesswork out of the color matching process. Matching a color target to an organic or man-made material is now simplified through spectrophotometric technology.

plastic variety color target
Spectrophotometric technology allows manufacturers to create a perfect color target match to meet the wide array of colors needed to meet consumer demands.
Image Source: Flickr user tanakawho

Spectral Technology and Instrumentation

Color quality has such major influence on consumer satisfaction that spectrophotometry has now become a necessity in polymer manufacturing a production. When developing color formulations to meet color target samples, color concentrates2 must be added to raw polymer materials to achieve the perfect match. Throughout this process, color changes must be carefully monitored to allow for accurate color matching. Choosing the right instrumentation is dependent on individual product needs and can vary in both size and function. From hand-held to bench top to online processing spectrophotometers, the right instrumentation is crucial in maintaining color consistency and quality throughout the various phases of processing.

Challenges in Color Measurement

Plastic materials can vary in both color and consistency. From translucent or transparent to opaque, specific angles and calculations are key to successful color target matching. As manufacturers continue to expand their color pallets to meet consumer demands, color plaque samples must continue to meet quality standards throughout the industry. The American Standards for Testing Materials (ASTM) has set specific guidelines that address the quality standards governing plastic color matching sample production.3 These standards are dependent on specific spectrophotometric technology to measure color using the best practices available. With the right instrumentation, any color target can be attained using the right technique and geometric calculations for the visual quality and surface appearance of each individual sample.

plastic combination lock target color
Creating the perfect color match in polymer products requires the right combination of technology and industry knowledge. With the right instrumentation, this process is both simple and effective.
Image Source: Flickr user Steve Johnson

HunterLab is a reliable name for color target matching technology in plastic manufacturing. Our expert staff has helped numerous companies around the world maintain consistency and quality in their polymer products. Throughout every stage of production, HunterLab offers a system of unsurpassed technology that makes the color matching process simple, reliable, and repeatable. For more information on finding the right instrumentation to meet your needs, contact HunterLab today.

  1. “Color Target,” https://books.google.com/books?id=9IZSW9BVCyAC&pg=PA262&lpg=PA262&dq=color+measurement+of+plastic+plaque&source=bl&ots=Q65yek7BMg&sig=vk_7yjFnQCNniwCQNTCrP6XaIME&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CE4Q6AEwBjgKahUKEwiQiNyO__XIAhVM7iYKHcfTDq4#v=onepage&q=color%20measurement%20of%20plastic%20plaque&f=false
  2. “Working with Color Concentrates,” March 2012, http://www.ptonline.com/columns/working-with-color-concentrates(2)
  3. “Standard Practice for Compression Molding Thermoplastic Materials into Test Specimens, Plaques, or Sheets,” http://www.astm.org/Standards/D4703.htm
  • Henri

    In the field of plastics color matching, more precisely coloring plastics and practically automatically selecting the right ingredients and calculating their exact quantities to match perfect a color to its standard. ISOCOLOR has worked with HunterLab top of the line instruments such as USPRO and USVIS connected with its color matching solution for matching plastics in 3 modes (opaque, transparent and translucent). The multi-flux algorithm and advanced features of the ISOMATCH and ISOBATCH software modules (database intelligence, pigment loading optimization, business rules…) have over-achieved expectations in color formulation results.

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