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Creating Gels: Thickening and Rheology Modifiers

by | Oct 18, 2013

About Thickening Agents

Many formulators work with thickening agents and rheology modifiers to control the viscosity of a formulation and add functionality in suspension, texture and overall emulsion stability.

These functional characteristics are important aspects of many formulations used in a wide range of commercial and consumer applications.

Derived from either natural or synthetic sources, thickening additives are used in the development and formulation of personal care products, HI&I cleaners, gel based medical devices, packaging gels, pharmaceutical compounds, ceramics, paper, paints, inks and coatings, and more.

Commonly used natural thickeners include water soluble natural polymers such as guar gum derivatives, starches, and xantham gum, among many more, used in food, pharma, cosmetics, household and industrial thickening applications.

Crosslinked Acrylic Polymers

As for synthetic polymer based thickeners, we have found that crosslinked acrylic polymer technology can have significant functional benefits in formulating multipurpose gels and cleaners.

These are self-wetting polymers with broad compatibility – including compatibility with nonionic/anionic surfactants, alcohols, waxes, and abrasives – and formulation flexibility to alter viscosity, flow, and other product characteristics depending on the desired application.

Custom Polymer Based Gels for Medical and Packaging Applications

The flexibility of these polymers allows us to develop and customize end-use gels for many medical uses, sports gear and recreational equipment, and advanced packaging applications.

Some specific examples include: sanitizing gels, gel based eye packs, gel inserts and pads for sporting equipment (bike seats, protective gear) and accessories, medical support applications and surgical positioning tools, cold and ice packs, and contract packaging manufacturing for specific needs.

Using these polymers as a basis, the potential product uses and application areas are vast. It just takes a little creativity.

We offer our Sta-Thix™ line of polymer based gels to give customers full customization options with their products, including those with specific needs in gel appearance (including color), flow, viscosity and suspension.

If you have a question about thickeners or Sta-Thix™ gel products, or would like more information about a custom project you’re working on, please feel free to contact us.

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