A quick look at Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (HPMC CAS 9004 65 3)

HPMC is a special product that might be misunderstood as an industrial chemical used in areas like chemical engineering, raising concerns about potential harm to the human body. In reality, it is a derivative of cellulose, sourced from pure natural high-quality cotton fibers, making it an environmentally friendly additive.

Despite being invisible in the final product, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose Ether (HPMC) is omnipresent. As a high-quality additive, it finds extensive use in food, pharmaceuticals, construction, and daily care products.

This article briefly introduces the definition, properties, and preparation methods of HPMC. As manufacturers of construction-grade and daily care-grade cellulose ethers, the following sections will delve into the detailed applications of HPMC as an additive in tile adhesives, wall putty, mortar, and detergents.

Definition of HPMC (CAS 9004-65-3)

Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, or simply HPMC, is a non-ionic cellulose ether. It is a cellulose ether in which hydroxypropyl and methyl groups are combined with the anhydroglucose ring of cellulose through an ether linkage. It is a non-ionic cellulose ether abbreviated as HPMC. HPMC disperses in cold water, forms a film when the solution dries, and exhibits pseudoplastic fluid characteristics. It has a thinning effect when stirred. Different specifications of HPMC have varying proportions of methoxy and hydroxypropyl groups.

Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC) structure

Properties of hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose ether

Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (HPMC) is widely used in various fields such as food, pharmaceuticals, construction, and personal care products.

Food Grade:

In the food industry, HPMC exhibits acid-base stability, heat resistance, solubility, and water retention. It is mainly used as an emulsifier, thickener, and animal gelatin substitute. Sourced from natural high-quality cotton fibers, it is environmentally friendly. Widely applied in our daily acidic foods, freezing, and jams.

Pharmaceutical Grade:

Pharmaceutical-grade HPMC is biocompatible and functions as a controlled-release agent. Due to its biocompatibility, it is extensively used as a capsule coating material and in sustained-release formulations, posing no harm to the human body. Its excellent controlled-release properties, adjustable by modifying molecular weight and degree of substitution, make it suitable for various sustained-release formulations.

Construction Grade:

Construction-grade HPMC possesses not only viscosity but also rheological properties and water retention. In the construction sector, it serves as a modifying agent in cement mortar to enhance viscosity and rheological properties, improving process performance. Its excellent water retention aids in slowing water evaporation, enhancing mortar plasticity and workability.

Daily chemical Grade:

Daily chemical-grade HPMC demonstrates emulsifying properties, wetting dispersibility, and stability. Hence, in daily chemical products, HPMC is commonly used as an additive for emulsification, stabilizing oil-water emulsions to achieve uniform texture and smoothness in cosmetics and personal care products.

Overview of Cellulose Ether Production Process

The preparation of Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose Ether (HPMC) involves several steps: Initially, natural cellulose undergoes etherification with hydroxypropyl acrylate, connecting the two and forming Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose. During this process, the degree of substitution, and consequently, the properties of the final product, can be controlled by adjusting reaction conditions such as temperature and reaction time. After completing the reaction, HPMC is extracted from the reaction mixture through refinement and separation steps, ensuring the purity of the final product. Finally, HPMC undergoes drying to remove residual solvents and moisture, resulting in the ultimate Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose Ether product. This preparation process makes HPMC a versatile synthetic material, widely used in various fields such as food, pharmaceuticals, and construction.

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