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How is hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC) used in water-based paint?

Dec. 03, 2023

HEC is the abbreviation of hydroxyethyl cellulose. It is a water-soluble natural or semi-synthetic polymer that is the product of chemical modification of cellulose. Cellulose is one of the main components of plant cell walls, and hydroxyethyl cellulose is modified by introducing hydroxyethyl groups into the cellulose molecules. HECs are commonly used in a variety of industrial and consumer product applications, including coatings, adhesives, food, pharmaceuticals, and more. In the field of coatings, especially water-based coatings, HEC is often used as a thickener, viscosity modifier and rheology agent. Hydroxyethyl cellulose is an important thickener in latex paint. The following focuses on the use and precautions of hydroxyethyl cellulose HEC in latex paint.

HEC used in water-based paint

1.Add directly when grinding the pigment: This method is the simplest and takes the shortest time. The detailed steps are as follows:

(1) Add an appropriate amount of pure water to the drum of the high strain cutting mixer (generally add ethylene glycol, wetting agent and film-forming agent at this time)

(2) Start stirring at low speed and slowly add HEC

(3) Continue stirring until all particles are moistened

(4) Add antifungal agents, pH adjusters, etc.

(5) Stir until all the hydroxyethyl cellulose is completely dissolved (the viscosity of the solution increases significantly), then add other components in the formula and stir until the coating is completed.

2. Prepare the mother liquor. The configuration and precautions are as follows:

(1) First prepare a high-concentration mother liquor and add it to the latex paint.

(2) The steps and methods are similar to steps (1)-(4) in method 1. The difference is that a high-strain cutting stirrer is not required, and only some stirrers with sufficient power are needed to keep the hydroxyethyl fiber evenly dispersed in the in solution. Continue stirring until completely dissolved into a thick solution.

(4) Antifungal agents must be added to the mother liquor as early as possible.

3. Preparation of porridge-like phenological substances:

(1) Organic solvents are poor solvents for hydroxyethyl cellulose, and these organic solvents can be used to prepare porridge-like substances.

(2) Ice water is also a poor solvent, so ice water is often used together with organic liquids to make porridge.

(3) Porridge products such as hydroxyethyl cellulose can be added directly to the coating.

(4) The hydroxyethylcellulose in the porridge has been fully foamed. The paint dissolves immediately after being added and plays a thickening role.

(5) After the addition is completed, it must be stirred until the hydroxyethyl cellulose is completely dissolved and uniform. Generally, porridge consists of six parts of organic solvent or ice water and one part of hydroxyethyl cellulose.

(6) After about 5-30 minutes, hydroxyethyl cellulose will obviously hydrolyze and swell.

HEC used in water-based paint

4. Some things to note when preparing:

(1) Precautions when preparing hydroxyethyl cellulose mother liquor. Hydroxyethyl cellulose is processed powder particles. Easy to operate and easily soluble in water. Just take the following precautions.

(2) Add antifungal agents in advance as much as possible.

(3) Stir continuously before and after adding hydroxyethyl cellulose until the solution is completely transparent and clear.

(4) It must be slowly screened into the mixing drum, and block or spherical hydroxyethyl cellulose is not allowed to be added directly into the mixing drum.

(5) It is important to note that water temperature and pH value have a significant relationship with the dissolution of hydroxyethyl cellulose.

(6) When using high-viscosity hydroxyethyl cellulose, the concentration of the mother liquor should not be higher than 2.5-3% (weight), otherwise the mother liquor will be difficult to operate.

(7) Do not add some alkaline substances to the mixture before soaking the hydroxyethyl cellulose powder in water. After soaking, it is helpful to increase the pH value.

MATECEL is a professional HEC supplier that can provide customized needs and has 18 years of experience. If you have other needs or questions, you can consult us any time!

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