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New coloured polymer-based materials for new masterbatches, security signaling products and photoluminescent systems.

The overall objective of the project is designing and developing novel coloured and luminescent masterbatches that can be used in processes of injection, extrusion-blowing, extrusion, film and 3d printing. Demonstrators of real parts by using these masterbatchs (matrices/colours) will be obtained.

PHOTOCOLOR project of cooperation between the Spanish company Implaser and the Chilean company Topcolor is proposed. The main objective of the project is to develop new photoluminescent plastic masterbatches of different nature as well as their application to different technologies of plastics processing. The specific objectives are as follows: • Objective 1: Analysis and evaluation of the requirements of the plastics for fire protection, automotive safety, accessibility, decoration, and advertising and image applications. • Objective 2: Selection of the more suitable photoluminescent pigments, plastics matrices and more suitable additives. • Objective 3: Obtaining of new formulas and new masterbatches compatible with photoluminescent pigments. • Objective 4: Characterization of optical, mechanical and tribological properties of the new masterbatches obtained. • Objective 5: Validation of these masterbachs in the different plastic transformation process obtaining prototypes from the new masterbatches with different transformation processes optimized for these new materials developed (Injection, Extrusion blowing, film and 3D printing). The project will culminate in different advanced products (fire protection, automotive safety, accessibility and advertising and image applications) achieved by using new masterbatches. The collaboration between IMPLASER and TOPCOLOR will be focus on the development of new plastic materials no available in the market and in an improvement of existing products. With this project, IMPLASER, coordinator of the project, will provide a new business line with photoluminescent products available in different colours besides increasing the variety of existing. From its side, TOPCOLOR will incorporate in its capabilities a new variety of luminescent masterbatches. 2. BACKGROUND Currently, IMPLASER is working on the manufacture of photoluminescent devices for fire protection by screen printing over plastic and metal substrates. The problem of using photoluminescent inks is that the deposited layer is more exposed to wear with friction, whereas if the photoluminescent pigment is included in a plastic matrix, the product is much more durable. In addition, the different processes of plastics transformation allow the design of photoluminescent pieces useful in safety and it can also open new business lines in areas such as accessibility and automotive safety. After previous experiments in IMPLASER, when the photoluminescent pigment is subjected to different processes of transformation of plastics, it loses its yellow colour and becomes more greyish, losing its photoluminescent properties. Furthermore, when it is combined with other coloured dyes in the polymer matrix, it loses the photoluminescent properties. On the other hand, TOPCOLOR does not have luminescent products in its wide range of masterbatches, being of low intensity those in the market. In this sense they have the collaboration of AITIIP Technology Centre (in Spain) expert in plastics processing and in the development of advanced materials. 3. PROPOSED SOLUTION AND INNOVATIVE CHARACTER. To achieve the expected results, a consortium that is both technically and economically complementary to the objectives of the project has been chosen. IMPLASER will be in charge of: 1) Definition of the requirements of the plastics for fire protection, automotive safety, accessibility, decoration, and advertising and image applications. 2) Selection of the more suitable photoluminescent pigments for plastic transformation process. 3) Characterization of optical, mechanical and tribological properties of the new masterbatches manufactured by TOPCOLOR. 4) Validation of these masterbachs in the different plastic transformation process obtaining prototypes from the new masterbatches with different transformation processes optimized for these new materials developed. TOPCOLOR will be in charge of: 1) Selection of the more suitable plastics matrices such as polyolefins, polycarbonate, methacrylate, etc. Analysis of rheological properties. 2) Research and selection of the more suitable additives to achieve the desired colours and properties. 3) Manufacturing of new formulas and new masterbatches compatible with photoluminescent pigments. This project is framed in order to achieve some new pigments and additives that could be combined with different plastic materials as thermoplastic as thermostable plastics. There is a special attention to bio-based plastics as alternative to the conventional ones, being these ones more respectful with the environment, allowing reaching advanced compositions that culminate with diverse plastic products through its indicated processes of transformation.
Acronym: 
PHOTOCOLOR
Project ID: 
11 258
Start date: 
01-06-2017
Project Duration: 
24months
Project costs: 
530 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Plastics, Polymers
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.