Go Plastics Inc. rotational molds stylish places for you to dump your trash. These trash receptacles look as if they are carved from granite.
In fact, the Brampton, Ontario, firm manufactures several proprietary products that have a heavyweight look. To get the stonelike appearance, Go Plastics uses Stone Effect linear low density polyethylene from Nu-Plast Inc. Stone Effect compounds contain pigment systems developed by Teknor Color Co. of Pawtucket, R.I.
Teknor Color (Booth E11947) will feature the colorant system used in Stone Effect products at NPE 2000.
Go Plastics first started using Stone Effect about four years ago after discovering it at a convention.
"We were one of the first to try it," Ed Gollob, Go Plastics president and chief executive officer, said in a May 3 telephone interview. "We decided to target a slightly different market and offer new products only in Stone Effect for a visual impact."
One of the products Go Plastics manufactures is a magazine and newspaper vending rack.
"These news racks are more pleasing to the mall owner or office building managers because they are more aesthetically pleasing than a plain yellow magazine rack," Gollob said.
The rack is part of the company's Streetsmart product line.
Go Plastics also offers its proprietary Urban Images park benches, planters and trash receptacles. And it gradually is finding more applications, such as a four-person spa. Stone Effect products are available in sandstone, dark millstone, white marble, green marble and medium-gray hues.
"I've thought of lots of uses for Stone Effect," Gollob added. "Like headstones at golf courses that describe each hole. And in Europe it is used quite a bit in municipal programs and the waste receptacles that hang on lampposts."
Stone Effect is best used in applications where a heavier look is required of a molded product; garden products and planters, as well as displays that look like rocks, are popular. Shoe displays have taken advantage of the look too: A display that mimics a rocky mountainside can be used to promote hiking boots.
Go Plastics molds the products at its plants in Kitchener, Ontario, and Canton, Ga. Because of the coloring system, the mold's shape and molding parameters influence the even-granite look. The material must flow properly. The process is a little more experimental than molding regular polyethylene, Gollob said.
"Rotomolding large appearance components presents several challenges to colorant suppliers," said Dennis Foy, Teknor Color's rotomolding market manager. "For starters, rotational molding subjects thermoplastics to higher temperatures and much longer heat histories than other processes, requiring that pigments and additives like (ultraviolet) stabilizers be formulated to withstand this stress without degrading part properties."
Also static charges, inherent in rotomolding, must be controlled to prevent swirls and other defects. Surface appearance and texture depend on both material properties and processing conditions.
It is possible for the product to look dull in some areas and correct in others, Gollob said. For example, large flat areas are not desirable because they tend to pool fines and exhibit gloss that detracts from the stonelike appearance.
To overcome that, Go Plastics tried Stone Effect in different molds and now knows where to use the material.
"Most consumer and industrial products incorporate very few flat part expanses, primarily because curved geometries are far stronger than flat sections, which minimizes the limitations presented by this pooling phenomenon," Gollob said in a news release.
As a custom and proprietary rotational molder, Go Plastics has 175 employees and 14 rotomolding machines. It also has an engineering and design department, and secondary operations that include screen printing. Other proprietary products include storage lockers and lawn and garden carts. Gollob did not disclose sales.