Spectrophotometers Ensure Color Quality in Acrylic Molding

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Posted on November 2, 2017

Cheap. Durable. Versatile. These are the qualities that have led to the rise of the acrylics over the past century. Attractive across a broad range of industries, acrylics are now produced on a constant basis in vast quantities. They are found everywhere from airline windshields to hot tubs to jewelry, and their popularity shows little signs of diminishing. The caveat, however, is that such high demand has created strong competition in the industry. Acrylic manufacturers who are unable to meet industry standards for price, efficiency, and quality control may find themselves losing market share to competing firms.

One of the easiest ways to produce a substandard and unsaleable batch is to create incorrect or inconsistently colored acrylic. Customers may have very specific demands for the coloration of their products and rely on manufacturers to produce acrylics which meet their standards. As acrylic in its basic form is transparent, each shade requires the inclusion of discrete mixes of color additives. Given that the production of acrylic plastic requires highly specific temperatures, timing, and amounts of pigment, each shade requires its own unique formula. With such specificity demanded, it’s all too easy for a slight mistake to push a batch beyond the bounds of tolerance.

Spectrophotometers Are Essential For Acrylic Color Quality Control

Acrylic manufacturers must implement a rigorous color quality assurance system to complement their various other methods of quality control. Fundamental to successful acrylic color quality control is the spectrophotometer. These instruments can detect the color of transparent or opaque materials with unerring and infinitesimal precision.

Put into practice, spectrophotometers aid acrylic manufacturers in two main ways. First, acrylic manufacturers can assess test batches to ensure that they result incorrectly colored plastics before they are scaled up for a full run. This allows manufacturers to fine tune their formulae, making certain that when the time comes to commit the materials and energy needed to produce a full product run, the end result will be exactly the right color.

Next, spectrophotometers can be used to assess the color of acrylics both during and after the manufacturing process. This ensures that the desired color is maintained throughout the production phase and that each batch of acrylic produced falls within established color tolerance standards before it is shipped to the client. Keeping a close eye on color during manufacturing helps make sure that no variations occur. Should any variation be detected, manufacturers are able to correct it with a minimal loss of time, energy, or material. By subjecting each batch to a final scan before shipping it to a client, manufacturers can protect themselves from the rework and possible reputational damage that can result from delivering a substandard batch.

Full article with photos available here:

https://www.hunterlab.com/blog/color-plastics/spectrophotometers-ensure-color-quality-acrylic-molding/

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