We are often asked how our glow resin might impact both the design and the project’s overall cost. Glow in the dark resin is a custom formulated polymer designed for each specific application. Like all custom products, there are many factors that influence both performance and price. Here are some of the most important.
Our Illuminating Resin is custom compounded by formulating your specified base resin material with our proprietary glow crystals. Other ingredients are added to ensure smooth processing and provide a stable formula. Depending upon the specifications required, additional ingredients may be incorporated such as UV stabilizers, fire retardants, etc.
As a designer or engineer, you start by specifying your current base resin, or the one you expect to use. Optimum base resin materials can include Polypropylene, ABS, TPE, TPU and EVA. We are able to create glow formulations for most resins, however a key element for success is the clarity of the base resin material. While transparent and even some translucent base resins can be used, opaque resins will diminish or completely block the glow attributes, and are therefore not recommended.
Base resin materials act as the carrier for the glow crystals, the active ingredient in all glow products. Typically the specific base resin has been prequalified by your company to meet specific requirements such as flexibility, processing temperature and others. While the type of base resin you select will influence the overall price, in most cases it has a lesser impact than the cost of the glow crystal and other factors.
Glow resin is generally priced per pound or by Kg weight. It is available as either a precolor (“pour and go”) or master batch concentrate. We usually begin the formulation process for your design project with precolor materials in smaller batches in order to perfect your unique formula. Once validated, we can formulate a photoluminescent master batch for use in full-scale production.
Quality of Glow Crystals
The most important ingredient in all high performance glow resin is the glow crystal. This determines how well the glow material will illuminate in your final design.
Not all glow crystals are alike. Just like diamonds, each crystal is distinct and like diamonds they are graded for quality and beauty. The best glow crystals will provide the highest level of glow performance with a clear bright glow of long duration.
The earliest glow in the dark materials made had a weak glow and very short duration. With newer materials and techniques now available, this has been solved. However some companies still use lesser quality materials and/or poor processing conditions producing disappointing results.
We believe using the finest quality glow crystal is critical in “Wow-ing” your customers. A robust and high performing result will help your product stand out and ultimately impress your customers.
The Amount Counts
Glow resins can be created using different amounts of glow crystals in the completed formulations. We refer to this as “glow load”. Glow crystal load is usually anywhere from ~10% to 50% in the formulation of glow resin material. (This should not be confused with Let Down Ratio, which is the amount of virgin resin vs. the glow resin material used in molding the final parts).
The quality of the crystal is influential in determining the ideal formulation. For example, a poor quality crystal loaded at 50% may not appear as bright as a high quality crystal loaded at a lower amount. Using higher quality raw materials is fundamental to making sure the end result is successful. Trying to save costs by using lower grade crystals is not typically useful because any cost savings are offset by the need to use a higher percentage in the final mix to achieve preferred results.
However, when using glow crystals of equally high quality, adding more of the active ingredient will increase performance. For a super long glow duration, we can modify the formula by tweaking the percentage of high performance crystals added.
Day and Night
We recently launched all new custom Daytime colors (the color that is visible in Daytime) along with exciting new Night glow colors. Using our patent pending process we can match most colors, including Pantone colors, to reinforce your brand logo and seamlessly integrate glow into your overall design.
Because certain Daytime colors may have an impact on the Nightglow performance, additional glow crystals may be needed to fine-tune the result. Our technical experts can make custom modifications to the glow crystals to correctly balance your Daytime color with your desired Nightglow effect.
How Does Quantity Affect Price?
Price is closely tied to volume. Each custom run requires precision set up to achieve the best results. With small trial runs, the overall cost is distributed over less volume. With larger orders, the set up cost is apportioned over larger volumes and becomes a less significant factor. Typically as quantities increase the price per pound becomes more favorable.
Please contact us for a quote on your project specifications!