The applications of metal powders and metal pigments in plastics are quite diverse. First, metal pigments are used to create effects, such as in the form of a master batch for coloring plastics, or in relief technique to create an artistic imitation of metal.
Second, the material properties of the metals are used in functional plastics, such as electrical conductivity in anti-static plastic material (e.g. flooring) or heat conductivity and high density in PTFE compounds for friction and sliding surfaces.
In work rooms in which electrostatic sparks can develop due to friction and increase risk (e.g. computer rooms, operating rooms, storage rooms for highly flammable materials, etc.), flooring that has anti-static qualities is preferred.
Due to its outstanding wear resistance and tribological properties, PTFE is used as a sliding material (e.g. in bearings) and in seals. In combination with copper or bronze powders as technical compounds, their density, strength and thermal conductivity are improved significantly.
With “relief technique”, “real” metal surfaces are created for artistic or craft purposes by working metal granulate into plastic, by pouring or modeling it into the desired form, and then using mechanical processing (grinding, polishing, brushing, etc.) to reveal the metal surface. Subsequent chemical processing can also achieve antique or patina effects.