LANXESS: Sustainable colorants for the plastics industry


The specialist chemical company LANXESS offers the plastics industry high-performance and long-lasting colorants for coloring engineering plastics. At K 2022, which will be held from October 19 to 26 in Düsseldorf, Germany, the company will present its product lines for the energy-efficient production of plastic products that eliminate the need for subsequent coating and thus avoid rework. This includes both universal products and specialties for special requirements. Depending on the product, heat stability, color intensity, light and weather resistance and gloss determine the property profile.

Permanent coloring of components for high voltage applications with heat-stable Macrolex Orange HT

The range of colorants offered by the Polymer Additives business unit comprises approximately 150 products and, in addition to Macrolex brand colorants, a range of high performance pigments and pigment preparations for use in a wide range of demanding applications. Anne Stelzer, Head of Global Marketing Colorant Additives Business, says: “Our Macrolex brand soluble colorants can be used in a wide range of applications, for virgin polymers and also in recycled materials. The products can be used to achieve any desired shade. .”

The color orange is mandatory as a safety feature for high voltage components. This color is increasingly used to mark live cables in electric and hybrid vehicles as well as components for high voltage applications. The color of the signal is intended to alert mechanics and emergency services to the potential danger of electric shock. To permanently color plastics with the RAL 2003 orange tint, LANXESS has developed a soluble organic colorant. Macrolex Orange HT is very heat stable, light and weather resistant and offers exceptional color strength and brilliance. Unlike most conventional colorants, the halogen-free Macrolex Orange HT is perfect not only for use in polyamide, but also for other common types of plastics such as polycarbonate or polyphenylene sulphide, which, due to their high processing temperatures, normally pose a challenge for colorants. .

Detailed information on polymer additive colorants is available online at

Heat stable, migration resistant and readily dispersible

Colortherm brand iron oxide and chromium oxide pigments from LANXESS’ Inorganic Pigments business unit fully meet the requirements of plastics processors as they offer good dispersibility combined with short residence times and low shear forces in the processes. Thanks to their special micronization, the finely ground pigments can be quickly distributed in the plastic, which enables high productivity. Due to their high heat stability, pigments can be heated to temperatures above 300°C depending on their type and also retain their performance when used in high performance polymers, which are increasingly to replace glass, ceramics and steel in a wide variety of applications. Pigments from the Colortherm range are also approved as raw materials for coloring food packaging and toys.

For reliable yellow coloring of polymers at high temperatures, LANXESS offers the modular Colortherm Yellow product line. It includes the iron oxides Colortherm Yellow 5 and Colortherm Yellow 20 as well as the zinc ferrites Colortherm Yellow 26, Colortherm Yellow 30 and Colortherm Yellow 3950. The range covers not only the color spectrum of light and saturated yellow shades, but also the orange tones. Due to their special manufacturing process, the color intensity of Colortherm Yellow 26 and Colortherm Yellow 30 zinc ferrites is up to 20% higher than that of alternative products. This means a corresponding reduction in the amount of material needed to color the plastic.

“The special feature of our Colortherm Yellow product range is the great flexibility in pigment selection. Processors can choose the pigments that suit them, adapted to the type of plastic to be colored and the thermal stability required”, says Stefano Bartolucci, Global Market Segment Manager for Plastics within the Inorganic Pigments business unit of LANXESS.

Facilitate the sorting of waste and prevent production losses

The circular economy is a key topic for the plastics industry and is also crucial for LANXESS. “For example, one of our new developments will help increase the recycling rate of plastic packaging, which is still far too low worldwide. This is because optical sensors often cannot correctly identify black plastic packaging. when sorting waste because of its color, which means that it cannot be sorted. Therefore, it must be disposed of by incineration”, explains Bartolucci. The iron oxide pigment Bayferrox 303 T developed by LANXESS for coloring plastic black, which has a near-infrared (NIR) reflectance of 20%, enables efficient identification of plastics using NIR detectors, so black plastic packaging can be detected in sorting centers during waste separation because iron oxide pigment reflects infrared radiation, unlike carbon black which is most commonly used for coloring.

“Thanks to a special manufacturing process, we have succeeded in synthesizing a pigment with an extremely low magnetic value. If you compare Bayferrox 303 T with standard manganese ferrites, the magnetism has been reduced by more than 50%,” explains Bartolucci. “With our black pigment, false alarms in food production, for example, can be avoided and a higher degree of process reliability can be achieved because there are fewer interruptions. After all, metal detectors cannot This is why metal contaminants should be avoided in both the masterbatch and the packaging,” he adds.

Detailed information on the range of products offered by Inorganic Pigments can be found here:

All LANXESS press releases regarding K 2022 are available at


LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of 7.6 billion euros in 2021. The company currently has approximately 14,900 employees in 33 countries. LANXESS’ core business is the development, manufacture and marketing of chemical intermediates, additives, specialty chemicals and plastics. LANXESS is listed in the main sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World and Europe) and FTSE4Good.

Forward-looking statements

This company release contains certain forward-looking statements, including assumptions, opinions, expectations and views of the company or cited by third-party sources. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause the actual results, financial situation, development or performance of LANXESS AG to differ materially from the estimates expressed or implied herein. LANXESS AG does not warrant that the assumptions underlying these forward-looking statements are free from error, and accepts no responsibility for the future accuracy of the opinions expressed in this presentation or the actual occurrence of any anticipated developments. No representations or warranties (express or implied) are made and no reliance should be placed on the information, estimates, objectives and opinions contained herein, and no liability whatsoever is accepted for errors, omissions or inaccuracies contained herein, and therefore no representative of LANXESS AG or any of its affiliates or any of its officers, directors or employees accepts any liability whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from the use of this document.


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