Prolonging Plastic Product Lifespan with High-Performance Additives

03 Nov 2023

High-performance additives are widely used in various industries, such as automotive, construction, and packaging.

Advancements and developments in technology have offered growth potential to end-user industries that have increased the consumption of high-performance plastics by various additive materials.

They can be added during the manufacturing process and can also be blended in with existing plastics to enhance their performance, leading to significant cost savings in the long run, along with reducing the environmental impact of plastic waste.

As per the report by BIS Research, the global high-performance plastic additives market is valued at $1.04 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $2.89 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 9.6% during the forecast period 2022–2031.

The high-performance plastic additives market is anticipated to benefit from the growing preference for plastics over metals, which will lead to market growth.

Types of Performance Additives for Improving Quality Standards of Plastic Products

High-performance additives can be used to produce new and innovative plastic products, such as bio-based plastics and fire-resistant plastics. They can improve the properties of plastic products by enhancing the strength, durability, and heat resistance of plastics. They also add characteristics such as flame retardancy, UV stability, and electrical conductivity.
Here are some different types of performance additives to improve the plastic quality.


Plasticizer is a type of additive that is added to plastic materials to make them more flexible and pliable. It works by reducing the intermolecular forces between polymer chains, which softens plastic materials and increases their flexibility.

Common types of plasticizers include ortho-phthalates, adipates, and trimellitates, which can be found in a wide range of products, including toys, packaging materials, and construction materials.

Without using plasticizers, plastics would be brittle and rigid, limiting the usefulness of the products.

Plasticizers are typically added to thermoplastic materials, which are plastics that can be melted and reshaped multiple times. This allows the plastic to be shaped into a wide range of forms, including films, fibers, and complex shapes.

Flame retardants

Flame retardant additives are chemicals that are added to plastic and other materials to slow down or prevent the spread of fire.

These additives work by disrupting the combustion process and can be grouped into several categories, such as halogenated, phosphorus-based, and nitrogen-based.

  • Halogenated flame retardants are the most common type of flame-retardant additive, which include compounds such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA). These compounds work by releasing halogen gases (such as bromine or chlorine) when they are heated, which helps to extinguish the fire.
  • Phosphorus-based flame retardants are compounds that work by releasing phosphoric acid when they are heated, which helps to extinguish the fire. Examples of phosphorus-based flame retardants include ammonium polyphosphate (APP) and red phosphorus.
  • Nitrogen-based flame retardants are additives that work by releasing nitrogen gas when heated, which helps to extinguish the fire. Examples include melamine, melamine cyanurate, and guanidine compounds.

Flame retardants play a crucial role in improving safety procedures, along with other safety systems such as smoke alarms and suppression systems.


Lubricants in plastics are additives that are added or blended with plastic materials to reduce friction and wear during processing and improve the flow properties of the plastic and increase the lifetime of the final product.

These lubricants work by creating a barrier between the plastic and the processing equipment, which helps to reduce friction and wear.

There are several types of lubricants that can be used in plastics, including mineral oils, vegetable oils, and synthetic lubricants. Mineral oil-based lubricants are the most common type of lubricant used in plastics, along with natural base lubricants and synthetic lubricants.

Additionally, lubricants can have a negative impact on the properties of the final plastic product, which makes it important to choose the right lubricant that is compatible with the plastic and the application.

Antioxidant polymer additives

Antioxidant polymer additives are compounds that are added to polymeric materials to prevent or slow down the oxidation process.

Oxidation is a chemical reaction that occurs when a polymer is exposed to oxygen, which can cause the polymer to degrade and lose its properties over time, such as loss of strength and flexibility. Antioxidant additives work by scavenging the free radicals that cause oxidation, thus slowing or preventing the degradation of the polymer.

Some common examples of antioxidant polymer additives include hindered amine light stabilizers (HALS), hindered phenolic antioxidants, and phosphite esters.


Stabilizers or plastic stabilizers are compounds that are added to polymers to protect the material against corrosion, UV radiation, and depolymerization.

UV stabilizers absorb or scatter UV radiation, preventing it from reaching the polymer and causing discoloration, cracking, or loss of mechanical properties, which helps in preserving the color, strength, and overall appearance of the plastic.

Melt stabilizers are substances added to polymer melts to prevent or reduce thermal degradation during processing. They work by scavenging or neutralizing free radicals and other species that can cause chain scission and crosslinking, which can lead to discoloration, viscosity increase, and loss of mechanical properties.

Thermal stabilizers protect the polymer from thermal degradation, which can occur at high temperatures. By preventing the polymer from becoming brittle, thermal stabilizers improve the mechanical properties and lifespan of the plastic.


High-performance plastic additives have the potential to improve the properties of plastics and make them more sustainable, durable, and functional.

Future developments in high-performance plastic additives include nanocomposites, bioplastics, self-healing plastics, smart plastics, and recyclable and biodegradable plastics.

These advancements are expected to play a vital role in various industries and applications, such as medical devices, packaging, aerospace, and construction.