Plastic Additives – Plasticizers and Nucleating agents


Plasticizer refers to a class of substances that can improve the rationality of polymers, plasticizers are mainly used in PVC resins, the amount of plasticizers can account for more than 98% of the total amount of plasticizers. The addition of plasticizers can reduce the force between the molecular chains of PVC, so that the glass transition temperature of PVC plastic, the flow temperature and the melting point of the contained microcrystals are reduced, plasticizers can improve the plasticity of the resin, so that the products are soft and have good low temperature resistance.

Adding plasticizers to the resin can change the plasticity of the material, make it soft, reduce the melt viscosity and improve the molding and processing characteristics.

Plasticizing efficiency

Plasticizers on the size of the polymer plasticizing ability or plasticizing effect is good or bad, different plasticizers plasticizing efficiency size is a relative concept. Plasticizing efficiency is generally assessed by the amount of plasticizer needed to change the quantitative flexibility index, the less plasticizer is added, the higher the plasticizing efficiency. The general molecular weight of the plasticizer than the high molecular weight plasticizer to PVC plasticizing efficiency is high, and with the increase in polarity of plasticizer molecules, the degree of alkyl branched chain and aromatic ring structure are increased to make the plasticizing efficiency decreases. The order of plasticizing efficiency of common plasticizers is:




Plasticizer and polymer compatibility, the same plasticizer to different polar polymers have different compatibility. The order of compatibility of common plasticizers with PVC is:


Cold resistance

Plasticizer plasticized products of low temperature resistance. Cold resistance of plasticizers is related to their structure, with methylene (-CH2-) as the main body of the aliphatic dibasic acid ester cold resistance is the best, is a class of the most commonly used cold plasticizers, and containing cyclic and branched structure of plasticizers because of the difficulty of movement in the polymer at low temperatures and make its cold resistance excellent. The order of cold resistance of commonly used plasticizers is:


A nucleating agent is indeed a niche product, simply an additive that modifies the resin, the raw material of plastics. But this additive is unique in that it works by “accelerating nucleation” and interfering with the crystallization process of the resin material.

NO.1 Nucleating agent is a plastic additive

Plastic is one of the greatest inventions of human society in the 20th century, and we can hardly live without it. The reason why plastics are so amazing is that, on the one hand, the raw materials of plastics – resins, such as PVC (polyvinyl chloride), PE (polyethylene), PP (polypropylene), have excellent properties of polymer materials, and on the other hand, a variety of plastic additives are added to the resin to make up or improve the performance of the resin. Frequently used plastic additives are plasticizers, lubricants, antioxidants, heat stabilizers, light stabilizers, flame retardants, antistatic agents, cross-linking agents, coupling agents, acid absorbers (such as water talc), and nucleating agents.

NO.2 Nucleating agents enhance the transparency, rigidity and toughness of plastics

What is the role of nucleating agent as a plastic additive?

Crystallization is the change of molecular arrangement from disorder to order within a substance. Crystallization behavior, crystallization form and spherical crystal size have a great influence on the performance of the substance.
Most resin materials are semi-crystalline polymers, that is, partially crystalline, partially non-crystalline, in use usually does not have sufficient rigidity, toughness, dimensional stability or transparency, etc..

Nucleating agents are divided into α crystalline nucleating agents and β crystalline nucleating agents, which can interfere with the crystallization process of resin materials. α crystalline nucleating agents can induce α crystalline nucleation and increase the crystallization temperature and crystallinity of resin materials, make the size of the crystals microfine, improve the transparency and surface gloss of plastics, improve the bending modulus, tensile strength, heat deflection temperature and creep resistance of plastics, etc.; β crystalline nucleating agents can induce β crystalline nucleation agent can induce β crystalline nucleation, improve the impact strength and heat deflection temperature.

N0.3 How do nucleating agents work?

Nucleating agents work by interfering with the crystallization process of resin materials.

Specifically, in the process of processing resin materials into pellets, there is a process from viscous flow state (molten state) to glass state (solid state), which will naturally crystallize without the addition of nucleating agents, but generally there will be insufficient crystallization and large crystalline size.

After adding nucleating agent, the crystallization temperature of nucleating agent will be higher than the natural crystallization temperature of resin material, so it realizes the nucleating agent as the nucleus to start the crystallization in advance, so that the crystallization is more adequate and the crystalline body size is finer, thus improving the performance of the final plastic products.

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