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Black and white effects enable industrial designers to push the boundaries of design

GE Advanced Materials : 14 October, 2003  (Technical Article)
Black and white may seem like primary colours to the general populace, but in the exclusive world of product designers these colours are the next
According to a 2003 colour and effects guide developed for GE Plastics by design and strategy consultancy Polymer Solutions Inc., a joint venture between industry design giant Fitch Richardson Smith, Inc., and GE, black and white -- plus all the variations on each -- will be a key consumer product design element over the next year. Responding to this trend, GE Plastics unveiled a new dark and light palette for its Visualfx resin portfolio that includes new Earth Elements, Glacial Elements, Alliage resin effect and Tempulse resin effect.

“The 2003 effects guide is developed based on consumer trend research and feedback from manufacturers and designers,” said Andrew Day, GE Plastics’ Americas industry manager for global aesthetics. “It embodies consumer desires and provides insights into what the new trends will be and what aesthetic elements manufacturers and designers will adopt.”

“Our new Visualfx resin offerings are formulated to enhance the rich look of products and applications in the business equipment and telecom markets. In today’s world where companies are always seeking ways to differentiate their products, this innovative new collection of thermoplastics is designed to inspire industrial designers to envision ways to push their design further and increase brand equity,” said Edward Martin, market director, consumer electronics portables and displays, GE Plastics.

The new Black and White portfolio of effects includes:
• The Earth Elements line:
- Raven resin effect: Available in Lexan polycarbonate resin, Raven resembles a true piano-key black giving the product a rich, glossy black with the depth of deep lacquer.
- Dark Sparkle effect: Available in Cycoloy ABS/PC resin, Dark Sparkle helps add a visual of punch with subtle highlights suspended in dark, rich earth-tones.
- Dark Marble effect: Available in Cycoloy ABS/PC resin, Dark Marble creates a black-on-black duotone effect with dark and earthy hues revealing a more natural look to the application.

• The Glacial Elements line includes:
- Alpine resin effect: Available in a Cycoloy ABS/PC resin, Alpine is in simple, clean, crisp white providing boldness and elegance to the applications.
- White Sparkle effect: Available in a Cycoloy ABS/PC resin, White Sparkle offers a white-on-white feel adding another dimension.
- White Stone effect: Available in a Cycoloy ABS/PC resin, White Stone gives products a polished granite feel with more white and black particles giving subtle emphasis.

This new collection of effects also includes Alliage resin effect and Tempulse resin effect. Available in Cycolac ABS resin, Alliage is a versatile metallic effect that offers three-dimensionality in a wide colour range. Tempulse is an enhanced sparkle effect offering a sense of dimension and depth to the product. Available in Cycoloy ABS/PC resin, Tempulse adds gleam and vivacity to both high-gloss and textured surfaces.

“Colours and effects are important factors for new product design as they can add a whole new realm of dimension that directly impacts consumer purchase behaviour,” said Robert Butterfield, director of Polymer Solutions, Inc.

All of GE Plastics’ Visualfx resins are formulated with the colour and effect inherent in the pellet to create colourful and exceptionally rich looking parts out of the mould without the need of what can often be costly secondary paint and coating operations. Additionally, several of these Visualfx resins are also available in film for use in in-mould decoration applications to achieve unique multi-layer effects and flow line free appearance.

GE Plastics recently developed a new website designed to help facilitate manufacturers and designers to explore various effects for use in their engineering thermoplastics applications. Through this website, OEMs and designers can obtain information on Visualfx resins such as an overview and composition description. In addition, they may order samples of their choice of effects.

The website also contains information on ColorXpress services, the industry-leading colour management and matching service and Customer Innovation Centres, facilities designed to help designers and OEMs design new products, create custom colours and apply effects to their applications.
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