What is Plasticizer?

Plasticizers are additives that increase the flexibility and durability of a material. Large quantity of them are used every year to produce plastic compositions, coatings, films, and filaments for applications in many industries such as automotive, medical and consumer goods. Almost 90% of the market for plasticizer is for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) applications as it improves the durability and fluidity of PVCs, thus making PVCs easier to manipulate.

Plasticizers are one of the best-selling chemicals which can change the properties of plastics, paints, rubber, concrete, clays and adhesives. Most plasticizer is in liquid form and majority are colorless but some range from light yellow to bright yellow in color.


American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) test method for color of clear liquid is the standard color measurement method for plasticizers. The scale used for plasticizer of light color is the APHA color, also known as the Hazen scale.

However for amber or dark colored plasticizers, which cannot be read on the APHA scale, the ASTM test method for color of transparent liquid should be used instead. This test method uses the Gardner color scale.

Thanks to state of the art technologies nowadays, the color measurement of plasticizers can be done objectively using the Konica Minolta CM-5 spectrophotometer. The CM-5 is able to perform color evaluation of plasticizers accurately, thus replacing traditional and subjective visual evaluation.

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