Graphene in HDPE Blow Molding Study

Graphene has been shown to give excellent mechanical properties when incorporated into Polyolefins. In this project, we took advantage of the excellent tensile strength improvements seen from functionalised Graphene Nano particles (GNP) in a HDPE blow moulding grade. A GNP HDPE masterbatch was developed and scaled up to commercial volumes.

The Challenge

The difficultly when trying to create a GNP masterbatch is achieving correct dispersion and loading to ensure the properties are being fully realised. These difficulties are compounded when the process is scaled up.

With Hubron’s state of the art feeding and processing system, we are able to feed and disperse these extremely low-density materials in order to make full use of their unique properties.

Key Features of Hubron.nano

Strength Enhancement

Due to graphene’s unique morphology, it can have a vast impact on a materials property, even at low loadings. With only 3% GNP loading, Hubron has seen over a 25% uplift in stress at yield and impact properties.

Enhanced UV Performance

Due to GNP’s ability to absorb UV and to scavenge free radicals produced in the UV degradation of polymers, we have seen a significant uplift to UV degradation resistance.

Whatever challenges you face, at Hubron International we are committed to providing customised solutions for a sustainable world. Read why plastic irrigation pipe manufacturer chose Hubron.additive as their preferred solution.

Hubron & The Graphene Council

Hubron International is a leading supplier of high-performance functional additives and specialty masterbatches to various industries, including plastics, coatings, and rubber. Recently, Hubron International became a member of the Graphene Council in the UK, which is a global community for graphene researchers, manufacturers, and end-users.

What is the Graphene Council?

The Graphene Council is the largest community of graphene stakeholders in the world, with over 28,000 members in 80 countries. The Council’s mission is to promote and advance the commercial adoption of graphene by bringing together researchers, manufacturers, and end-users to collaborate on research and development, standardization, and commercialization of graphene-based products.

Hubron International’s Membership in the Graphene Council

Hubron International’s membership in the Graphene Council highlights the company’s commitment to innovation and new product development in the industry. As a member of the Council, Hubron International will have access to the latest research and development in graphene, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with other industry experts and stakeholders.

How Hubron International’s Membership in the Graphene Council can drive Innovation and New Product Development

  • Access to Latest Research and Development: As a member of the Graphene Council, Hubron International will have access to the latest research and development in graphene. This will enable the company to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in the field and incorporate them into its products, leading to the development of innovative and high-performance materials.
  • Collaboration with Industry Experts and Stakeholders: The Graphene Council brings together industry experts and stakeholders to collaborate on research and development, standardization, and commercialization of graphene-based products.
  • Development of High-Performance Materials: Graphene has unique properties that make it an excellent material for various applications, including plastics, coatings, and rubber. By incorporating graphene into its products, Hubron International can develop high-performance masterbatches that offer improved properties, such as increased strength, flexibility, and conductivity.
  • Meeting Industry Demands: With increasing demands for sustainable and high-performance materials, Hubron International’s membership in the Graphene Council can help the company meet these demands by developing innovative and sustainable materials that offer improved properties and performance.

Hubron International’s membership in the Graphene Council highlights the company’s commitment to innovation and new product development in the industry. This will enable the company to maintain its position as a leading supplier of high-performance engineering masterbatch.

hubron graphene

Masterbatch for Monofilament, Multifilament, Spun Yarns: What’s the Difference?

Yarn is a versatile material used in various applications, including textile manufacturing, knitting, and weaving. It is made by spinning fibres together to create a continuous strand. However, not all yarns are created equal. There are different types of yarns available, each with its unique properties and characteristics. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the differences between monofilament, multifilament, and spun yarns to help you choose the right masterbatch material for your next project.

Monofilament Yarns

Monofilament yarns consist of a single, continuous fibre that is extruded through a spinneret. The spinneret creates a single, continuous strand that is then wound onto a spool. Monofilament yarns are commonly used in applications where a high level of strength and durability is required. They are also popular in the fishing industry for their high tensile strength and low stretch properties.


  • High tensile strength
  • Low stretch properties
  • Durable


  • Can be more expensive than other types
  • Limited elasticity
  • May have a coarse texture

Multifilament Yarns

Multifilament yarns consist of several individual fibres that are twisted together to create a single strand. The fibres are usually made from polyester or nylon and have a finer texture than monofilament yarns. Multifilament yarns are commonly used in textile manufacturing and are popular for their soft, lightweight feel. We also have many customers using masterbatch for automotive interiors such as seat belts, seat coverings and carpets.


  • Soft and lightweight
  • Fine texture
  • High elasticity


  • Lower tensile strength than monofilament
  • More prone to pilling
  • Not as durable as monofilament yarns

Spun Yarns

Spun yarns are made by twisting together short staple fibres to create a continuous strand. The fibres used in spun yarns can be natural, such as cotton or wool, or synthetic, such as polyester or nylon. Spun yarns are commonly used in knitting and weaving applications and are popular for their soft, fluffy texture.


  • Soft and fluffy texture
  • Can be made from natural or synthetic fibres
  • Affordable


  • Lower strength and durability
  • More prone to pilling and fraying
  • Limited elasticity

Choosing the Right Masterbatch for your Fibres & Yarns

When choosing the right masterbatch for your fibre project, there are several factors to consider. These include the type of application, the desired texture and appearance, and the level of durability required. For example, if you’re making fishing nets, you’ll want to use a monofilament yarn for its high tensile strength and low stretch properties. On the other hand, if you’re making clothing, you may want to use a spun yarn for its soft, fluffy texture.

In conclusion, understanding the differences between monofilament, multifilament, and spun yarns can help you choose the right masterbatch material for your next project. Each type has its unique properties and characteristics, and selecting a masterbatch which enhances these can make a significant difference in the final product’s quality and performance.

Why plastic irrigation pipe manufacturer chose Hubron.additive masterbatch?

Technical Expertise

Benefit from a dedicated team of experienced technologists, extensive technical development facilities and comprehensive R&D testing available.

Bespoke Additive Masterbatch

We have the capability to deliver bespoke grades that meet your specific requirements.

Solutions Provider

We can meet your current product specifications and safeguard your supply chain.

After extensive analysis using a series of testing regimes including HPLC and OIT, the Hubron technical team were able to achieve a bespoke grade of Hubron.additive. This allowed the European based irrigation pipe manufacturer to consolidate their supply chain with a secondary source of additive black masterbatch that met the specification of the additive masterbatch currently used.

Challenges faced by the customer:

The customer is a plastic manufacturer based in Spain, who required masterbatch solutions for their irrigation pipe products, commonly used within the agricultural industry.

Firstly, the customer required an experienced additive black masterbatch manufacture as over extended periods of time, polymers are susceptible to degradation by exposure to heat and ultraviolet radiation in sunlight. This can cause a reduction in physical properties leading to colour change, embrittlement and potentially failure in service life. Plastics can be greatly enhanced by using additives masterbatches, that act to improve those properties and give superior products.

Furthermore, the customer necessitated an alternative supply of their current additive black masterbatch, as they sought to safeguard their supply chain. They required a masterbatch manufacturer that possessed robust R&D capabilities, capable of producing a supplementary supply of masterbatch that exhibited identical performance to their current product used in the manufacturing process.

Hubron’s solution:

With over 85 years of compounding experience, Hubron international are experts at developing additive masterbatches to suit customer specific requirements for many applications such as slip, antifog, antistatic and flame retardants. Therefore, the Hubron technical team were able to successfully test and analyse the customer’s existing additive black masterbatch and produce a countertype. The samples were analysed using HPLC and OIT.


The analytical technique high performance liquid chromatography was used to separate, identify and quantify individual components of the sample.


The oxidative induction time test is an analytical technique that measures the resistance of a polymer to oxidation. OIT is performed on a differential scanning calorimeter (DSC). The test involves heating a polymer sample, under controlled conditions while exposing to oxygen. The time taken for the oxidation process to begin is recorded as the OIT. The OIT technique provides a precise measure of how long it takes for a polymer to start degrading under controlled conditions. This allows for an estimation of the concentration of antioxidant additives present within polymer.

Hubron worked closely with the DSC manufacturers to ensure test methods across both Hubron’s and the customers technical teams aligned. The new grade samples were passed by the customer and the product was rapidly scaled up.


This case study showcases the exceptional capabilities of Hubron. Our expert technical team can collaborate with you to design customised masterbatch grades, create innovative formulations and even develop unique alternatives to safeguard your supply chain. Whatever challenges you face, Hubron can provide a solution.

Long Service Award

We understand that one of our greatest assets is our people. That’s why we celebrate their achievements and milestones.

Paul Cole, one of our maintenance engineers, recently celebrated 25 years of service at Hubron!

As a reward for his service, Paul chose a gold coin. Paul commented on the receipt of his 25-year award: “I work in a really good, friendly environment and I have stayed for so long due to the great working relationship within the maintenance and PMU team.”

Paul started as a maintenance engineer with Hubron in September 1996 and has grown from an electrically bias engineer into a valued multiskilled shift maintenance engineer over his 25 years.

His knowledge and experience of the Hubron plant supports the team in ensuring black masterbatch products flow off production lines 24hrs a day 5 days a week.

Paul enjoys maintaining his various cars and caravan holidays with the family when not fixing plastics processing equipment.

Congratulations Paul on your achievement and thank you for your dedication!


Hubron International Appoints Fergus McKendrick as New Managing Director

Leading supplier of black masterbatch assigns Sales Director as new MD

Following the retirement of MD Keith Simms, Hubron International has appointed Sales Director, Fergus McKendrick, to the role.

Joining Hubron International in 1994, Simms has occupied the role of MD since 2004. During that time the company has seen a considerable turnaround and growth throughout Europe.

Fergus McKendrick succeeded Simms and assumed responsibilities on 1st January 2022.



Commenting on the appointment, OBG COO, Phil Didlick:

“We firstly would like to thank Keith Simms for his service to Hubron International. When OBG acquired Hubron in 2004, the business was in administration and today it is one of the strongest and most consistent performing businesses in the group portfolio. Keith has been absolutely pivotal to the transformation of the business and thoroughly deserves his retirement.

“We are excited to be welcoming Fergus McKendrick into the role of MD. OBG have committed to a significant investment in the Hubron International business over the next two years and we feel confident Fergus will successfully steer Hubron International on to a new level of performance driven by increased capacity and geographic coverage.”

McKendrick has 25 years experience within the Chemicals Industry, working at all levels, including many years at company board and senior director levels. He has been the Sales Director at Hubron International since 2018.

Before joining Hubron, McKendrick was Divisional Commercial Director at Mel Chemicals and, prior to this, Regional Business Director (EMEA) at Rhodia. Based in Manchester, McKendrick will guide the growth plans for Hubron International globally.

Fergus McKendrick had to say about his appointment:

“Hubron International has a proud history and I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to lead us into our exciting future. I am confident that we can continue to build on our success and drive our strategic vision forward.”


About Hubron International

Hubron International was established in 1934, has been a part of OBG since 2004, and has grown to be one of the world’s leading suppliers of black masterbatch. Over 85% of masterbatch production is exported through a world-wide network of distribution partners, serving the demands of polymer industries such as film, sheet, pipe, cable & fibre extrusion, moulding and technical compounding across the world.


Working with Graphene and Joining The Graphene Council

At Hubron, we’ve established ourselves as one of the world’s leading providers of black masterbatch in over 85 years of operation.

We’re always looking at ways to move forward, and in recent years we’ve been working closely with graphene producers to develop further uses for the material, i.e. for improved black masterbatches and conductive compounds.

Joining The Graphene Council

Hubron recently became a corporate member of The Graphene Council, which is the world’s largest community for graphene researchers, developers, producers, academics and scientists.

And to commemorate this occasion, our Technical Manager Robert Laurent had a chat with The Graphene Council’s Dexter Johnson, to discuss how we started working with graphene and what we’re aiming to achieve with the material in the future.

Let’s take a look at what was discussed…

How Hubron first got involved with graphene

With regard to Hubron starting to look into using graphene in our formulations, Robert told Dexter that our first experiments with the material began back in 2014.

Initially focusing on nanotubes that evolved into graphenes, we continued to work closely with our suppliers, with Robert adding:

“Commercially it is still relatively new, but 2020 saw the first real volume go through our plant.

“These volumes are still small compared to our typical run sizes, however our pipeline of opportunities is gathering pace.”

How working with graphene has been so far

Working with new materials can present different issues and challenges, and each different type of graphene can perform in significantly different ways.

While the first experiments we carried out with graphene were more about testing compatibility with the host resin, this has progressed into the optimisation of dispersion, loading, performance and scaling up.

“It is essential to identify the right material for the polymer and application,” said Robert, “and learning how to safely handle, feed, process and disperse these materials has also been key.”

How graphene compounds are processed at Hubron

“We are a masterbatch/compounder of graphene materials,” noted Robert. “and we have several technologies available to us for the processing of 2D materials.”

Ease of handling and dosing into their process are just two of the benefits our customers will see from our masterbatches and compounds.

Robert went on to say: “A fully-dispersed, compatible material in a concentrate form will aid the full exploitation of property enhancements.”

The appeal of graphene-enabled products in both niche and broader markets

When it comes to niche vs broad appeal of graphene-based products, Robert stated that “The broad spectrum of property enhancement possibly lends itself to a more comprehensive approach.”

At Hubron, our ultimate goal is to always add value to our customers, and Robert also told The Graphene Council that he thinks there’ll be a place for more ‘off the shelf’ composites and bespoke, customer-focused solutions.

“Hubron’s focus is on being a solutions provider,” he continued, “and it is the belief that 2D materials will be key in the thermoplastic arena for providing solutions to challenges such as light-weighting and sustainability.”

Unique selling points of our graphene composites

We want our customers to take advantage of the potential of these materials by providing them with cost-effective, functional, and fully-dispersed masterbatch and compounds.

“We can offer bespoke solutions, and we will work with our clients to achieve their objectives,” said Robert, “through the learnings of our work and the investments we have made and will continue to make.”

Noting that there’s a current lack of awareness among end-users, Robert went on to say that here at Hubron, we can help to bridge the knowledge gap, and guide our customers in terms of how to use these materials and help them to realise the potential benefits.

Ongoing strategy for commercialising graphene composites

Our customers’ needs are always our top priority at Hubron, and through technical advancements in collaboration with our customers, we’ll be able to offer them sustained value.

“Our strategy is to maintain a sharp focus on developing and delivering niche and customised products that are differentiated, solve major customer problems, and offer compelling value propositions,” concluded Robert.

Benelux Distribution

We are pleased to announce that, The Masterbatch Company has been appointed to represent Hubron International in the Benelux

New Business Manager

Hubron International is pleased to welcome Mr Steven Horrocks to the team. Steve joins Hubron on 1st December as Business Manager with specific responsibility for continuing & accelerating our growth strategy in North America. Previous to joining Hubron, Steve was with PolyOne/ ColorMatrix.

Long Service Award

Graham Riley – long service

Graham joined the company on 20/2/1976 just over 40 years ago.

Graham started carrying out several jobs throughout the rubber factory. He progressed through stores control into the old PMU with the Farrel mixers. Graham moved into decanting as the Robot packing line was starting a 2 shift system, and has remained in this area for the last 18years,

Graham is pictured receiving his Long Service award from Hubron`s Operational & Technical Director Craig Hodgkinson.

graham riley

Retirement announcements

Ken Court – Retirement

Ken started with Hubron on 29/3/2005 almost 13 years ago to the day.

Ken has worked all his time at Hubron as a process operator in the PMU. Where he fitted well with the shift teams.

Ken joined us from a company called Jackdaw Polymer in Littleborough, with experience in processing Nylon materials. Ken was pivotal in Hubron`s entrance into processing Nylon materials at the plant as he had the experience of running a strand line on these materials.

Ken has been working part time through 2017 in a job share with Noel and kindly agreed to stay on for an extra 3 months at Christmas to cover us while we trained a replacement.

Ken has chosen to retire early to pursue his hobbies which include motor sports.


Noel Stewart – Retirement

Noel joined the company on 24/4/1979 almost 39 years ago.

Noel started in the rubber presses where he worked for a number of years before being one of the first employees to become a process operator in charge of CPs (Farrel mixer) in the old PMU.

Noel is known for good operating skill and his contribution towards putting ideas forward for improvements.

Again Noel has been working part time through 2017 in a job share with Ken and kindly agreed to stay on for an extra 3 months at Christmas to cover us while we trained a replacement. Noel is slightly past his state retirement date and is now finishing to take a well-earned rest.

Ken and Noel are pictured below with Hubron`s Operational & Technical Director Craig Hodgkinson.


Exhibitions 2017 Update

A reminder that Hubron International will be joining our German Distributor MLPLASTICS at Fukama this year in Hall B5 stand 5215 from the 17-21st October 2017

We look forward to meeting you there!