Plastic Plaque Color Measurement

Plastic plaques are thermoplastic materials compression molded into test specimens for the purpose of color measurement according to ASTM standard practices, and also used as product samples representing a plastic manufacturer's color palette. For over 60 years, major plastics manufacturers around the world have relied on the knowledge and expertise of HunterLab to help them maintain color consistency throughout their supply chain.

Test Color of Plastic Plaques

Lot-to-lot or piece-to-piece color consistency is an important indicator of quality for many plastic items. The process of pressing a plaque for the purpose of color measurement is commonplace in plastics processing, with well-established ASTM guidelines for best practices. Plastic plaques can range from opaque to translucent or transparent, so require different measurement techniques depending on the sample type.


Measure Color of Plastic Plaques

Opaque Plaques are impenetrable by light and are best measured using a Directional 45°/0° reflectance instrument or a Diffuse d/8° reflectance instrument:

  •  If you are measuring opaque plaques and desire to quantify a numeric value to visual perception, then the proper measurement technique is to employ a directional 45/0° reflectance instrument. This is the geometry that most closely matches how the human eye sees color.
  • If you are measuring opaque plaques and desire to negate the gloss and texture components of the sample and look at color only, then the proper technique is to employ a Diffuse d/8° reflectance instrument.

Translucent Plaques allow light to pass through, but only diffusely, so that objects on the other side cannot be clearly distinguished. Both reflective and transmittance measurement modes may work well depending on the translucency of the sample.  As a rule of thumb,


  • If at the path length that your customer will view the sample, you can see slight details of your thumb or finger through the plaque, then transmittance is the preferred measurement method.
  • If you cannot see slight details, then reflectance is preferred.
  • Path length is defined as the thickness of the sample from where the light enters to where it exits the sample.

Transparent Plaques allow light to pass through with little or no interruption or distortion so that objects on the other side can be clearly seen. These plaques can only be measured using transmission instrumentation.

Many of HunterLab's spectrophotometers are versatile enough to accommodate most applications of color measurement. However, based on 60+ years of experience and a thorough understanding of our customers' needs and product use, these particular instruments are most suited for this industries application.

Vista

NEW Vista spectrophotometer with the unique ability to capture both visible range transmission color and haze with a single measurement is a replacement for ColorQuest XT.

Test Color with VISTA

LabScan XE (Directional 0°/45° Geometry, Reflectance, 400-700 nm)

10% of HunterLab customers select this instrument for its large 44 mm (1.75 inch) measuring port, and for its level of sophistication, simplicity and versatility.

Test Color with LabScan XE

MiniScan EZ 4500L (45°/0° Geometry, Reflectance, 400-700 nm)

10% of our customers select the hand-held MiniScan EZ because it is rugged, lightweight and ergonomically designed and travels anywhere, from the lab to the production line, indoors or outdoors.

Test Color with MiniScan EZ 4500L

UltraScan PRO (Diffuse d/8° sphere Geometry, Reflectance and Transmittance, 350-1050 nm)

30% of our customers select this high performance instrument for its extended wavelength measurement and its ability to measure both reflected and transmitted color.ultrascan-pro-spectrophotometer

Measure Color with UltraScan PRO

UltraScan VIS (Diffuse d/8° sphere Geometry, Reflectance and Transmittance, 360-780 nm)

30% of our customers select this instrument for its extended wavelength measurement and its ability to measure both reflected and transmitted color of samples that are transparent to opaque.

Test Color with UltraScan VIS

If you are unsure which instrument type is right for your samples, please call or email HunterLab technical support and we will be happy to assist you in making the proper instrument selection.

AN 1001 ALPHA

Measuring the Water Whiteness of Liquids Using the APHA Index

Measuring the Water Whiteness of Liquids Using the APHA Index.

AN 1002

CIE Standard Observers and calculation of CIE X, Y, Z color values

CIE Standard Observers and calculation of CIE X, Y, Z color values.

AN 1005

Measuring Color using Hunter L, a, b vs CIE 1976 L*a*b*

Measuring Color using Hunter L, a, b vs CIE 1976 L*a*b*.

AN 1007

Measuring the Geometric Attribute of Your Products

Measuring the Geometric Attribute of Your Products.

AN 1013

Averaging in Color Measurement

Averaging in Color Measurement.

AN 1018

Using Hitch Standardization on a Series of Color Measuring Instruments

Using Hitch Standardization on a Series of Color Measuring Instruments.

AN 1031 Identification of Measurement Parameters

Identification of Measurement Parameters

Identification of Measurement Parameters.

AN 1033 Color versus Appearance

Understanding the difference between measuring color and measuring appearance

Understanding the difference between measuring color and measuring appearance.

HunterLab Solution Matrix

Geometry, Measurement Modes, and Indices

Geometry, Measurement Modes, and Indices.

MM 5019 Measuring Flat Opaque Solids with ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for flat, opaque solids using the UltraScan PRO, UltraScan VIS, or ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for flat, opaque solids using the UltraScan PRO, UltraScan VIS, or ColorQuest XE.

MM 5001 Measuring Translucent and Opaque Bottles with ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for translucent and opaque bottles using the UltraScan VIS, UltraScan PRO, and ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for translucent and opaque bottles using the UltraScan VIS, UltraScan PRO, and ColorQuest XE.

MM 5002 Measuring Transparent Bottles with ColorQuest XE

Method for measuring transparent bottles using the ColorQuest XE, UltraScan PRO, and UltraScan VIS

Method for measuring transparent bottles using the ColorQuest XE, UltraScan PRO, and UltraScan VIS.

MM 5006 Measuring Coated Glass with ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for coated glass using the UltraScan PRO, ColorQuest XE, and UltraScan VIS

Measurement method for coated glass using the UltraScan PRO, ColorQuest XE, and UltraScan VIS.

MM 5013 Measuring Plastic Pellets with ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for plastic pellets using the ColorQuest XE, UltraScan PRO, or UltraScan VIS

Measurement method for plastic pellets using the ColorQuest XE, UltraScan PRO, or UltraScan VIS.

MM 5015 Measuring Dense or Opqaue Bottle Preforms with ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for opaque or dense bottle preforms using the UltraScan VIS, ColorQuest XE, or UltraScan PRO

Measurement method for opaque or dense bottle preforms using the UltraScan VIS, ColorQuest XE, or UltraScan PRO.

MM 5016 Measuring Transparent Bottle Preforms with ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for metal surfaces using the UltraScan VIS, UltraScan PRO, or ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for metal surfaces using the UltraScan VIS, UltraScan PRO, or ColorQuest XE.

MM 5021 Measuring Translucent Solids with ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for flat, translucent solids using the UltraScan PRO, UltraScan VIS, or ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for flat, translucent solids using the UltraScan PRO, UltraScan VIS, or ColorQuest XE.

MM 5022 Measuring Metal Surfaces with ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for metal surfaces using the UltraScan VIS, UltraScan PRO, or ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for metal surfaces using the UltraScan VIS, UltraScan PRO, or ColorQuest XE.

MM 5026 Measuring Translucent and Opaque Bottles with UltraScan VIS

Measurement method for translucent and opaque bottles using the UltraScan VIS, UltraScan PRO, and ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for translucent and opaque bottles using the UltraScan VIS, UltraScan PRO, and ColorQuest XE.

MM 5027 Measuring Transparent Bottles with UltraScan VIS

Method for measuring transparent bottles using the ColorQuest XE, UltraScan PRO, and UltraScan VIS

Method for measuring transparent bottles using the ColorQuest XE, UltraScan PRO, and UltraScan VIS.

MM 5031 Measuring Coated Glass with UltraScan VIS

Measurement method for coated glass using the UltraScan PRO, ColorQuest XE, and UltraScan VIS

Measurement method for coated glass using the UltraScan PRO, ColorQuest XE, and UltraScan VIS.

MM 5038 Measuring Plastics Pellets with UltraScan VIS

Measurement method for plastic pellets using the ColorQuest XE, UltraScan PRO, or UltraScan VIS

Measurement method for plastic pellets using the ColorQuest XE, UltraScan PRO, or UltraScan VIS.

MM 5040 Measuring Opaque or Dense Bottle Preforms with UltraScan VIS

Measurement method for plastic pellets using the ColorQuest XE, UltraScan PRO, or UltraScan VIS

Measurement method for plastic pellets using the ColorQuest XE, UltraScan PRO, or UltraScan VIS.

MM 5041 Measuring Transparent Bottle Preforms with UltraScan VIS

Measurement method for metal surfaces using the UltraScan VIS, UltraScan PRO, or ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for metal surfaces using the UltraScan VIS, UltraScan PRO, or ColorQuest XE.

MM 5044 Measuring Flat Opaque Solids with UltraScan VIS

Measurement method for flat, opaque solids using the UltraScan PRO, UltraScan VIS, or ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for flat, opaque solids using the UltraScan PRO, UltraScan VIS, or ColorQuest XE.

MM 5046 Measuring Flat Translucent Solids with UltraScan VIS

Measurement method for flat, translucent solids using the UltraScan PRO, UltraScan VIS, or ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for flat, translucent solids using the UltraScan PRO, UltraScan VIS, or ColorQuest XE.

MM 5047 Measuring Metal Surfaces with UltraScan VIS

Measurement method for metal surfaces using the UltraScan VIS, UltraScan PRO, or ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for metal surfaces using the UltraScan VIS, UltraScan PRO, or ColorQuest XE.

MM 5051 Measuring Translucent and Opaque Bottles with UltraScan PRO

Measurement method for translucent and opaque bottles using the UltraScan VIS, UltraScan PRO, and ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for translucent and opaque bottles using the UltraScan VIS, UltraScan PRO, and ColorQuest XE.

MM 5052 Measuring Transparent Bottles with UltraScan PRO

Measurement method for opaque or dense bottle preforms using the UltraScan VIS, ColorQuest XE, or UltraScan PRO

Measurement method for opaque or dense bottle preforms using the UltraScan VIS, ColorQuest XE, or UltraScan PRO.

MM 5056 Measuring Coated Glass with UltraScan PRO

Measurement method for coated glass using the UltraScan PRO, ColorQuest XE, and UltraScan VIS

Measurement method for coated glass using the UltraScan PRO, ColorQuest XE, and UltraScan VIS.

MM 5063 Measuring Plastics Pellets with UltraScan PRO

Measurement method for plastic pellets using the ColorQuest XE, UltraScan PRO, or UltraScan VIS

Measurement method for plastic pellets using the ColorQuest XE, UltraScan PRO, or UltraScan VIS.

MM 5065 Measuring Opaque or Dense Bottle Preforms with UltraScan PRO

Measurement method for transparent bottle preforms using the UltraScan VIS, ColorQuest XE, or UltraScan PRO

Measurement method for transparent bottle preforms using the UltraScan VIS, ColorQuest XE, or UltraScan PRO.

MM 5066 Measuring Transparent Bottle Preforms with UltraScan PRO

Measurement method for metal surfaces using the UltraScan VIS, UltraScan PRO, or ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for metal surfaces using the UltraScan VIS, UltraScan PRO, or ColorQuest XE.

MM 5069 Measuring Flat Opaque Solids with UltraScan PRO

Measurement method for flat, opaque solids using the UltraScan PRO, UltraScan VIS, or ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for flat, opaque solids using the UltraScan PRO, UltraScan VIS, or ColorQuest XE.

MM 5071 Measuring Flat Translucent Solids with UltraScan PRO

Measurement method for flat, translucent solids using the UltraScan PRO, UltraScan VIS, or ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for flat, translucent solids using the UltraScan PRO, UltraScan VIS, or ColorQuest XE.

MM 5072 Measuring Metal Surfaces with UltraScan PRO

Measurement method for metal surfaces using the UltraScan VIS, UltraScan PRO, or ColorQuest XE

Measurement method for metal surfaces using the UltraScan VIS, UltraScan PRO, or ColorQuest XE.