Natrosol hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC), a nonionic, water-soluble polymer, is a white, free-flowing granular powder. It is made by reacting ethylene oxide with alkali-cellulose under rigidly controlled conditions. Purified HEC for personal care and cosmetic applications is typically sold at 95.0 percent minimum purity (dry basis).
Solutions of Natrosol HEC are pseudoplastic or shear-thinning. As a result, personal care products formulated with Natrosol HEC dispense rich and thick from the container, but spread easily on hair and skin.
Natrosol HEC is easily dissolved in cold or hot water to give crystal-clear solutions of varying viscosities. Furthermore, low to medium molecular weight types are fully soluble in glycerol and have good solubility in hydro-alcoholic systems containing up to 60 percent ethanol. Natrosol HEC is generally insoluble in organic solvents.
Natrosol HEC is used as a binder, bond strengthener, cement extender, coating and optical brightener aid, coating polymer, filtration control additive, green strength enhancer, protective colloid, rebound or slumping reducer, rheology controller and modifier, lubricity and workability enhancer, suspension and stabilization agent, shape retention enhancer and thickener.
Natrosol HEC has applications in multiple markets including adhesives and sealants, advanced ceramics, building and construction, ceramics, pottery and porcelain, commercial and institutional, oil and gas technologies, metal castings and foundry, paint and coatings, personal care pharmaceutical and pulp and paper.