Pen shiny. Me like.
August 19, 2011 11:50 AM   Subscribe

Where can I get fluorescent green translucent polypropylene suitable for injection-molding a case with a living hinge? Failing that, what is the industry term for this luminescent/fluorescent effect?

I have a translucent green pen that looks really bright and fluorescent in real life. The color varies from a bright yellow to a dark bluish green depending on how the light hits it. I don't know how to describe it, other than it looks unnaturally luminescent.

Unfortunately, the effect seems to be very difficult to capture in photographs. You can see a similar pen here, but fluorescent effect doesn't really show up. I've seen a similar material used for clipboards.

I'm trying to get something injection-molded out of polypropylene with a similar effect, and I can't seem to get across to the guys doing the molding what I'm looking for. They say that the pen is made from polycarbonate, which is why it looks more clear, but I know there's more to it than that. The pen's plastic has some kind of special visual properties beyond being "more clear".

I don't even know what the industry term is for this kind of effect. If I knew what it was, maybe I could track down a suitable pigment or colorant myself. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
posted by designbot to Technology (4 answers total)
Iridescent? Or maybe Moire. But probably iridescent.
posted by artychoke at 1:39 PM on August 19, 2011

Best answer: Term you are looking for is florescent. The clipboards that glow like that are likely plexiglass like this stuff:

I think you can get pigments that do the florescent effect that work with injection molding. Like this stuff:
posted by Pink Fuzzy Bunny at 1:46 PM on August 19, 2011

I should note I haven't purchased from either of those suppliers, more just to let you know what the products were...
posted by Pink Fuzzy Bunny at 1:50 PM on August 19, 2011

Iridescence and Moiré patterns are a different effect from this. Iridescent stuff has the multicolored look of an insect wing, a thin oil slick, or dichroic glass. Moiré patterns can sometimes produce an optical illusion of color but aren't necessarily colorful at all.
posted by hattifattener at 4:20 PM on August 19, 2011

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