performance specialties

who moves molecules like chess pieces? we do.

Ashland knows that a single ingredient can have a big impact and, for us, every day is an opportunity to find a new solution to a new challenge. We have teams of solvers ready to solve your next challenge. With the combination of our specialty ingredients, technical expertise, research and development capabilities our solvers are working to provide solutions to a broad range of applications - from pencils and paper to mining and manufacturing there's nothing too big or small for the team at Ashland.  First we listen, and then look to science for solutions. Then we develop test and try and we'll do that over and over again until we find a solution that works for you.


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  • Agriculture

    who plants challenges to harvest solutions? we do.

    As the world's population grows, the need to grow more food on the same or less land translates to higher yield per acre and Ashland agricultural products can help achieve this goal. Here at Ashland, we think, ponder, try, test and in many cases, try and test again.  We do that over and over until we find a solution that you like.  Whether you're looking for ingredients for seed coatings or ways to make crop protection products more rain resistant, we want to find an answer to your question and  a solution to your challenge. From the seed of an idea comes a bountiful harvest of solutions when you work with this passionate team of solvers.

    Ashland applies both its chemistries and extensive technical capabilities to supply and support the delivery of active ingredients to help improve field performance, which can lead to higher yields. For many years, the combination of Ashland's know-how and products has helped deliver crop protection chemicals in a variety of agricultural formulations.  Our specialty polymers and blends can enhance the stability and biological performance of seed coatings. We work to enhance agricultural formulation properties and biological efficacy on a cost effective basis by applying our knowledge of dispersants and adjuvants.

    crop protection

    In agriculture, the Ashland solvers strive to improve both the delivery and the performance of agrochemicals for food and non-food crops, in both pre-and post-harvest applications. We utilize our product offering of adjuvants, dispersants, wetting agents and binders and work with you on formulations and delivery forms to provide you with solutions that work for you.  Regardless of whether you are looking to improve the adhesion, stabilization, suspension, dissolution, or dispersion of herbicides, insecticides or fungicides, Ashland can help develop a solution tailored for your need.  Working with Ashland can lead to crop protection as well as higher yields.

    seed treatment

    Current trends in seed treatment include flowside suspensions and suspo-emulsions to reduce dust hazards, improve formulation stability and increase adhesion. Ashland agri-chemists can design solvent-based or microcapsule formulations as well as seed treatments with polymer film coatings  that yield higher value seeds. Ashland formulators combine high performance additives AgsolEx™ solvents, Agrimer™ polymers and co-polymers, and Agrimax™ cellulose ethers with technical expertise to provide solutions that can improve seed performance.


    Agricultural products are listed below, use the filter to find the products that meet your specific needs.

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  • Ceramics

    who gets fired up at the thought of solving a problem? we do.

    From glazes that don't drip to stronger greenware to the advanced ceramics used in catalytic converters, and environmental filters, Ashland's knowledge in traditional and advanced ceramics can help you reduce waste and increase profits.  Ashland products strengthen greenware making it less prone to breakage both before and during the firing process.  And, our rheology products help create glazes that don't run or drip keeping your ceramic designs beautiful. 

    advanced ceramics

    Manufacturers of advanced ceramics such as catalytic converters, gasoline & diesel particulate filters and industrial environmental filters require ingredients that provide the right amount of plasticity and workability during the shaping and molding process, while maintaining firmness of the wet mass after extrusion and before/during drying (wet green strength). Other advanced ceramics like catalyst carriers made into different shapes and using various shaping techniques (extrusion, dry pressing, isostatic pressing, etc.) also require organic binders to provide strength and cohesion of the shaped ceramic product.

    During the drying process, these ingredients help ensure uniform, controlled drying and prevent the formation of cracks and blisters that can affect the performance of the converter, filter and other shapes. Although the needs are the same, different binders are used for the different manufacturing processes depending on raw materials, equipment as well as end product requirements. All manufacturers want to minimize costly equipment maintenance and repairs so they are also looking for products that help reduce wear and tear on manufacturing equipment and completely burn so there is little to no residue to deal with after manufacturing. Ashland offers a variety of products that can help solve these manufacturing needs.

    traditional ceramics

    To create beautiful ceramics, artists are looking for binder ingredients that increase the plasticity or workability of the material while providing enough strength to maintain the shape during the drying stage. Ashland products are also used as rheology modifiers to allow the glaze to go on easily without dripping or running.  These products also produce a strong, tight bond between the glaze and the ceramic body to prevent both damage to the surface prior to firing, and cracking during or after firing, which are especially important for both food and beverage applications.


    Ashland offers a large variety of chemically different cellulose ethers, which differ in chemistry allowing them to be used in different media / solvent systems depending on the shaping or application process. Some products develop their full potential when dissolved in organic solvents, other dissolve in water and polar solvents and others are purely water soluble.

    Culminal™ & Benecel™ methyl cellulose derivatives

    Methyl cellulose derivatives are widely used in advanced ceramics as e.g. green strength binders for ceramic extrusion. Examples are emission control ceramics as well as catalyst carriers for use in industrial processes). Depending on the chemistry of the binder (or combinations of binders used) the rheological profile changes. The formulations can be fine-tuned by picking the right binder or binder combination to:

    • achieve the correct plasticity of the ceramic mass
    • improve / secure excellent extrudability
    • control extrusion pressure
    • allow extrusion in a specific temperature window depending on extruder design
    • lead to the desired green strength through optimized gel formation (thermal gelation) and strength
    • support the controlled drying process
    • burn out almost residue-free during the firing process due to the organic nature of the binder

    Culminal™ & Benecel™ products are available in:

    • different chemistries (MC, MHEC, MHPC)
    • various substitution levels, depending on end application needs
    • low to very high molecular weight
    • very fine to coarse particle size
    • treated for easy incorporation into water (retarded solubility) or non-treated

    Aqualon™ & Blanose™ carboxymethyl cellulose

    Carboxymethyl cellulose products are e.g. widely used in ceramic glazes. Here, specifically low molecular weight products are being used to prevent or reduce sedimentation, have a low impact on the glaze viscosity and support adhesion of the glaze on the ceramic substrate. Low molecular weight carboxymethyl cellulose is also widely used for die pressing applications, where it is incorporated as a binder during the spray drying process of the ceramic slip. Other uses are in slip- or tape casting applications.

    Application for higher molecular weight, and often fine particle sized, products would be ceramic extrusion and extrusion of non-ceramic materials such as activated carbon for fuel recovery systems.

    Aqualon™ & Blanose™ products are available in:

    • various substitution levels, depending on end application needs
    • low to very high molecular weight
    • very fine to coarse particle size
    • different purity levels (98%, 99.5%)

    Klucel™ hydroxypropyl cellulose

    Hydroxypropyl cellulose products are very special in their properties. Being soluble both in water and polar organic solvents it offers very large choice of solvents or solvent combinations to be used in. This opens a lot of application fields from die pressing over slip and tape casting and, due to Its thermoplastic character, makes it an excellent chemistry to be used in injection molding processes, where the binder melts/liquifies upon temperature increase, flows nicely and upon cooling supports the often complex ceramic parts to stay in shape. Some examples for injection molding applications are bio-ceramics & aerospace parts such as turbine blades, but there are many more. Klucel Hydroxypropyl cellulose also leads to very flexible films and reduces brittleness.

    Klucel™ products are available in:

    • low to very high molecular weight
    • very fine to coarse particle size

    Natrosol™ hydroxyethyl cellulose

    Hydroxyethyl cellulose products find use in various ceramic shaping processes. Low molecular weight products are being used in e.g. ceramic slips for die pressing, slip- and tape casting. Higher molecular weight HEC is used in ceraminc extrusion processes, where it supports extrusion at higher temperatures.

    Natrosol™ products are available in:

    • various substitution levels, depending on end application needs
    • low to very high molecular weight
    • very fine to coarse particle size
    • treated for easy incorporation into water (retarded solubility) or non-treated

    Aqualon™ EC ethyl cellulose

    Aqualon EC ethyl cellulose products are utilized in ceramic applications, in which excellent film forming properties are required and organic solvents are used as a dissolution medium. In such applications Aqualon EC dissolves in the organic solvent and, upon evaporation, develops strong and water insoluble films leading to high cohesion in the dried state.

    Aqualon™ EC products are available in:

    • various substitution levels, depending on end application needs
    • low to very high molecular weight
    • very fine to coarse particle size

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  • Electronics

    who gets turned on by the opportunity to solve? we do.

    The explosion of digital and electronic communications and technology has increased the need for products that are cleaner, better and easier to use. Ashland chemists get charged up with the prospect of innovations that aid the manufacturing process of ceramic capcitors, plasma display panels and solar cells.   We continue to apply science to find breakthrough solutions for your electronic products.

    Ashland solvers track trends to provide solutions for the ever-changing world of electronics.  Needs change as technology advances and Ashland can help you keep on top of these changes.  For instance, Ashland's ethylcellulose polymers provide very clean burn-out performance in thick metal and specialty electronic pastes.  These organic, solvent-soluble derivatives of cellulose act as binding agents and can be used in the manufacture of multi-layer ceramic capacitors, plasma display panels and solar cells. Our relentless pursuit of solutions and improvements has yielded high quality products that can be used in numerous solvent systems to comply with the quality control systems in the manufacturing process of various electronic products.

    industrial laminates:

    Arofene® phenolic resins are used for electrical grade laminating such as printed circuit boards.

    • excellent Non-Conductive Properties
    • solvent-Based Systems
    • meet Electrical Specifications: XX, XXX and XXXCP


    Electronics products are listed below, use the filters to find the products that meet your specific needs.

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  • Textiles

    who is dyeing to work with you? we are.

    Whether a fad or trend fashion plays a role in most people's lives.  Hemlines go up and down as lapels and ties get narrow or wide and the same holds true with pant legs.  Regardless of the style, color and prints change like the seasons. Ashland ingredients for textile printing help prints stay brighter, bolder and crisper.  Better dyeing techniques results in improved fade resistance keeping your customers looking great - longer.  Let Ashland weave together some of our best products, technology, testing, service and solutions for your textile prints.


    Textiles products are listed below, use the filters to find the products that meet your specific needs.

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  • Welding

    who forges unbreakable bonds with customers? we do.

    Used in a variety of industries, welding yields exceptionally strong bonds between materials.  The thermoplastic metals and alloys, that are used to make welds are coated with flux, which assists in the formation of the welded bond.  Ashland products improvde the the bonding and coating uniformity of the flux to the welding rod.  Strong bonds depend on a highly consistent, smooth coating that helps prevent imperfections.  Ashland's quality doesn't fluctuate.


    Welding products are listed below, use the filters to find the products that meet your specific needs.

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  • intermediates

    Who loses sleep over the last 1%? We do.

    Ashland’s intermediates business unit is known as one of the world’s leading producers and suppliers of 1-4 butanediol (BDO), Tetrahydrofuran (THF), n-methyl-pyrrolidone (NMP) and gamma-butyrolactone (GBL, BLO) in addition to other downstream products. Our products are used in applications as diverse as shoe soles, pharmaceuticals, water filtration, electronics and more. As we go to market around the world we make a promise to our customers about what it will be like to work with us and what we can accomplish together. We are always solving - helping our customers find solutions to the complex challenges facing them in their own marketplace.

    Our people take pride in understanding our customers’ needs, market dynamics and the complex challenges that exist when competing in a global market environment.  Our passionate, knowledgeable team works tenaciously to identify opportunities and trends in this fast-changing market to quickly respond and optimize the value we provide to our customers throughout all regions of the world.  

    All of our products are produced in fully accredited world scale plants.  We are diversified in how we produce BDO and hold a patent for the Geminox process utilized at our Lima, OH facility.  In addition to great products and technology, Ashland is regarded as one of the most reliable global producers of BDO and its derivatives.  Our integrity and reputation is built on a solid foundation of providing great service, high quality products and customer-centered solutions. It’s something we are proud to earn every day.


    Intermediates products are listed below, use the filters to find the products that meet your specific needs.

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