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What is thixotropic agent?

April 17, 2024

Latest company case about What is thixotropic agent?


A thixotropic agent is a substance added to a material to impart thixotropy, which is the property of becoming less viscous under stress and returning to a higher viscosity when the stress is removed. In simpler terms, thixotropic materials are those that become thinner or more fluid when agitated, stirred, or subjected to shear forces, but they regain their original viscosity when left undisturbed.

Thixotropic agents work by forming a structure within the material that can break down under shear stress, allowing the material to flow more easily. When the stress is removed, the structure reforms, restoring the material's viscosity.

These agents find applications in various industries, including:

  1. Paints and Coatings: Thixotropic agents are added to paints and coatings to prevent sagging or dripping during application. They ensure that the material is easy to apply but maintains its shape once applied, resulting in a smooth and uniform finish.

  2. Adhesives and Sealants: Thixotropic agents are used in adhesives and sealants to control their flow properties. They allow the material to be easily dispensed or applied but ensure that it stays in place and forms a strong bond once applied.

  3. Inks and Printing: Thixotropic agents are employed in inks and printing applications to control the viscosity of the ink during printing processes. They ensure that the ink flows smoothly onto the substrate but does not spread or bleed excessively.

  4. Cosmetics: Thixotropic agents are used in cosmetic formulations such as creams and lotions to provide a smooth and spreadable texture. They allow the product to be easily applied to the skin but prevent it from running or dripping.

Common thixotropic agents include clays, silica, cellulose derivatives, and polymers. The choice of thixotropic agent depends on the specific application and desired rheological properties of the material.

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