Frequently Asked Questions

What is a masterbatch?

The simple answer is that a masterbatch (also referred to as a concentrate) is a package for colouring plastics. The wordier answer is this: pigments, dyes, or other additives are dispersed into a polymer carrier which is extruded and pelletized. Those pellets are metered, or “let down”, into natural polymer, using a predefined ratio, during the molding process where additional mixing colours the resin entirely. Normal addition rates vary from 1 to 4%, which means masterbatches pack a lot of punch!

What is the difference between a masterbatch and precoloured resin?

This gets a little techhie, but here goes: a masterbatch is pre-dispersed concentrated colour that is let down with natural polymer during molding. With a precolour, all the polymer is entirely compounded with the proper amount of colour and delivered ready-to-use, eliminating metering and dispersion difficulties. A masterbatch offers economic advantages associated with resin purchasing and colour obsolescence. Additionally, since masterbatches are not fully compounded, most of the polymer used does not exhibit an additional heat history, potentially deteriorating the properties of some polymers.

How do masterbatch colours make my Purchasing Team happy?

Using masterbatches allows your Purchasing Team to maximize their purchasing power by buying larger amounts of natural polymer. That advantage, plus lower obsolescence costs invested in end of life colours (as products change) give masterbatches a great economic benefit over other modes of colour delivery.

The development phase of our product is in the USA, but the manufacturing is in Asia. How is that all gonna work?

At Hueforia, we are crazy about consistency, so we use the same production procedures, colour matching equipment, and raw materials worldwide to ensure that our products can be manufactured to the same standards from one location to the next. Our production facilities are in the United States, Singapore, China, and France to be close to the world’s largest manufacturing centers. Wherever you are, so are we. Nifty, right?!

Can I order a masterbatch with light stabilizers or other additives with and/or without colour?

Our products can be designed to meet a single or multiple requirements. You can select a standard offering from our colour products and easily combine it with a standard additive masterbatch, as well. Our additive masterbatches are designed to provide UV protection, antimicrobial protection, foaming, and other functional modifications for many polymers. Just let us know what you’re dreaming of, and we’ll worry about the details!

How do I order a sample?

Our team of dedicated colour experts can assist you with ordering a sample. Additionally, our local Sales Engineers are professionally trained to provide samples, address colour issues and offer expertise in application development and material customization. Check out our Contact page for a Hueforia colour expert in your area!

How do I contact someone to discuss my application?

It’s pretty straightforward: visit our Contact page to find a Hueforia colour expert in your area, or simply call our main office at 1.507.454.6900 and we’ll hook you up. Our dedicated colour experts will assist with stuff like colour selection, development needs, and cost analysis for various colour delivery vehicles. Additionally, our local Sales Engineers are professionally trained to provide samples, address colour issues and offer expertise in application development and material customization.

Can you provide single product solution for various resin systems?

Can do! Our UniColor® line of universal masterbatches is designed specifically for colouring a wide range of resin systems. However, since the use of a single product does have limitations and colour differences are expected (due to stuff like differences in resin opacity and inherent natural hues), we have other ways to achieve your colour goals.
We can create precise custom matches to a single target for different polymers. This allows you to design using the benefits of differing polymer characteristics for individual components, but maintain uniform aesthetics in finished goods. Pretty sweet!

What markets do you serve?

You name it, we serve it! We routinely supply materials used in: aerospace, appliance, automotive and transportation, business machines and office supply, construction, consumer goods, electronics and connectors, fluid handling, industrial equipment and power tools, healthcare, military/government, packaging for food articles or sensitive electronics, sporting goods and recreation markets. And if you don’t see your market listed here, just give us a call. We’re happy to discuss it!

Where are your facilities?

We have 17 regional facilities in North America, Europe, and Asia, which allow us to serve you wherever you may be, in a timely and personal manner. Our company headquarters are located in Winona, Minnesota and our domestic colour experts are located around the United States from Fort Worth, Texas to Indianapolis, Indiana and South Boston, Virginia, and Sauk Rapids, Minnesota to Dupo, Illinois. Our colour group in Mexico is centrally located in Monterrey. Our European team is in Beaune, France, while our Asian teams are located in Singapore, Shenzhen, China and Suzhou, China.

What are the benefits of your Hueforia Directions palette?

In general, when a colour from this palette is chosen, development and lead times are generally shorter. Plus, there are economies of scale that can be realized over comparable custom colours. The Hueforia Directions palette colours are in sync with emerging trends, and provide significant design flexibility, as they are available in a wide variety of resins, including: PP, ABS, POM, Nylon 6, PC, PMMA, PEEK, PBT, LCP, TPE, PSU, TPU, PES, and PEI.

Can you provide solutions that are heavy metal free or satisfy other regulatory concerns?

Yes! Our colour solutions are designed with maximum performance in mind, so we take special care to address concerns for food contact, medical applications, CONEG, etc. Our products include lead- and cadmium- free colour offerings for select resin systems or custom matches that meet your precise specifications.

Do you monitor your raw materials?

Ooooh yeah… we don’t mess around in this area. All incoming raw materials are approved by Quality Control prior to use, and receive a bar coded label for internal tracking purposes. Many are subjected to tests in their intended application. Also, our vendors are continually monitored to ensure a uniform supply of materials that meets established requirements.

How do you control and identify your products?

We set out to make things organized from the get-go, so every batch produced is given a unique lot number for both backward and forward traceability. And each shipment is double-checked for conformance to your standing and special requirements to make sure your shipment is accurate. We want you to be happy with your order!

How do you ensure quality and consistency?

We love colour, and we take our commitment to providing you with quality, consistent products pretty seriously. Our parent company production facilities are ISO 9001:2000 registered and every batch we produce is closely monitored. Samples are taken at key points in the manufacturing process and further processing cannot continue without Quality Control approval.

No product leaves our facilities without first undergoing a battery of tests to determine that the material meets or exceeds the specifications established for that product. After meeting approval with specifications, each batch is further processed to ensure uniformity throughout.

How long will it take to receive my match?

Once we have your precise requirements, Hueforia can respond with a masterbatch solution in three working days!

Can you reference industry standards?

Sure thing! We maintain an extensive library of active formulations, including a bunch that are cross-referenced to industry standards such as Pantone, Munsell, RAL, etc.

How are colours matched?

All colour matches are completed utilising ASTM and Hueforia-documented test procedures. The final match is examined both visually and instrumentally. Instrumental analysis of the spectral data for each match is available with exhibits and lab samples, so you can see exactly what you will be receiving!

Looking for additional palettes?

For a glimpse back into the archives, check out these palettes from years past: