When choosing a new photoinitiator, formulators often begin by evaluating three criteria; Performance, cost and availability. Pricing and availability are straight-forward, but how do you characterize performance? Solubility, photo speed, and color are only some of the criteria to consider. In addition, there are also toxicity characteristics, both of the material itself, as well as residual breakdown products that need to be studied. Does the photoinitiator impart unwanted color, or cause some other potential downstream problem? These are all things that need to be carefully considered.
There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of commercialized products a researcher can choose from and with proper chemical modelling, this list can quickly be reduced to a handful of possibilities. More often than not, one of these “tried and true” products is found to be adequate, and the project moves forward.
On occasion, however, the ideal compound might not exist, and depending on the size of the opportunity, a company may decide to have the material synthesized or even produce it themselves. Both concepts have merit, for instance, by making the material yourself, you control the entire manufacturing and quality process. While this may initially sound appealing, companies often struggle to meet production demands as photoinitiator synthesis is likely not their core competency. In this case, one might seek out a scale up partner, such as Hampford Research, to manufacture the material on their behalf. This solution ensures supply continuity without having to shoulder the technical and regulatory burden associated with new compound development. As the photoinitiator market continues to grow and change, HRI remains committed to supplying the industry with leading edge technology. For more information please call +1(203)375-1137.