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Rheology Modifiers

Rheology modifiers (thickeners) are used in both liquid water-based and oil-based formulations. There are two types which are synthetic polymers and cellulosic thickeners. They use different types of industries like cosmetics, textile, agriculture, RTV silicone, homecare, paint coating, paper, etc.

There are two main categories of organic rheology modifiers which are determined by the thickening mechanism. These are associative and non-associative modifiers. Non-associative modifiers thicken a formulation through hydrodynamic means, i.e. the thickening is controlled by the molecular weight of the additive as they entangle the molecules in the formulation and make it more viscous. Associative modifiers rely on non-specific interactions between the end-groups of a thickener molecule and the surrounding formulation (as well as with themselves).

Thickeners used in the textile are acrylic, special produced modified mixtures.

Key Advantages of Thickeners;

  • Improve emulsion stability
  • Viscosity control
  • Help to compatibility clear formulations
  • Can be used a wide pH range
  • Improve foam quality and foam stability

Unfortunately, there are many materials that can be used as rheology modifiers, and each material has various grades and chemical variations that will affect rheological performance. All in all, there are hundreds if not thousands of rheology modifiers from which to choose.

They are generally classified as:

1. Either organic or inorganic

2. Suitable for water-borne systems or solvent-based and solvent-less systems