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Clarification Wetting
UCON Fluids
Unique formulation
additives that deliver
emolliency, solvency,
and smooth application
UCON™ Fluids are a series of copolymers
of ethylene oxide and propylene oxide, or
of polyethylene glycol and polypropylene
glycol. These moderate-viscosity fluids
provide emolliency, solvency, and slip in
skin lotions, eye makeup removers,
antiperspirants, and deodorants. At the
same time, they can offer a number of
other benefits, such as the ability to
efficiently wet pigments, to generate
heat upon application, or to control
viscosity in shampoo systems.

When you want to make a product

feel soft and apply smoothly, or when
difficult-to-solubilize ingredients
are involved, look to UCON Fluids
for unique sensory and physical

UCON Fluids Offer a Range of
Chemistries and Solubility Performance
UCON Fluids are copolymers of ethylene oxide and propylene oxide, or of
polyethylene glycol and polypropylene glycol. They are classified into three
major groups that are variations on the idealized structure shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Idealized Structure of UCON Fluids

• m = % propylene oxide
• n = % ethylene oxide

UCON Fluid LB series

• R = butyl alcohol
• m = 100%, n = 0%

UCON Fluid HB series

• R = butyl alcohol
• m = 50%, n = 50%

UCON Fluid H
• R = ethylene or propylene glycol
• m = 25%, n = 75%

A Key to Product Nomenclature
XX Letter 1 Letter 2 Number
50 H B 660

XX: Weight % of ethylene oxide used to grow polymer

Example: 50 50% EO 50% PO
75 75% EO 25% PO

Letter 1: Identifies water solubility

H: Hydrophilic—water soluble
L: Lipophilic—water insoluble

Letter 2: Identifies the starter alcohol

Letter 2 Starter Alcohol
B Butanol
Omitted Diethylene Glycol

Number: Viscosity
Saybolt Universal Seconds at 100°F
SUS at 100°F

Table 1: Physical Properties of UCON Fluids

UCON Product INCI Name % PO Average Viscosity Refractive
Molecular @ 23°C, cPs Index
75-H-450 PEG/PPG-17/6
Copolymer 25 1050 150 1.4655
50-HB-660 PPG-12-Buteth-16 50 1700 262 1.4576
50-HB-3520 PPG-33-Buteth-35 50 3200 1370 1.4598
50-HB-5100 PPG-33-Buteth-45 50 4000 2120 1.4596
Fluid AP PPG-14 Butyl Ether 100 — 95
LB-1145 PPG-33 Butyl Ether 100 2200 525 1.4499
LB-1715 PPG-40 Butyl Ether 100 2600 700 1.4503

Data listed above represent typical properties only, and should not be confused with, or construed
as, product specifications.

Table 2: Solubility Information for HB-Series UCON Fluids and
UCON Fluid 75-H-450 at 1%, 5% and 10%

75-H-450 50-HB-660 50-HB-3520 50-HB-5100

Water S S S S
Castor Oil I I S S
Ethanol S S S S
50% Ethanol/Water S S S S
Glycerin I I I I
Lanolin I I I I
Dimethicone I I I I
Amersil DMC 287 1
1% S S I
Amersil DMC 357 1
1% S S S
Mineral Oil I I I I
Propylene glycol S S S I
Petrolatum I I I I
Cyclomethicone I I I I
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
(Myritol 3182) I S S S
Glucam P-10
Glucam E-10
Carbomer 934 N4 I I I I
Panalene5 I I I I

S = soluble at 1%, 5% I = insoluble at all levels 1% = only soluble at 1%

and 10% or at all levels

Dimethicone Copolyol from GE
Lubrizol Corporation
B.F. Goodrich
Hydrogenated Polyisobutene from Amoco Chemical

Table 3: Solubility Information for LB-Series UCON Fluids
and UCON Fluid AP at 1%, 5% and 10%

Fluid AP LB-1145 LB-1715

Water I I I
Castor Oil S S S
Ethanol S S S
50% Ethanol/Water S S S
Glycerin I I I
Lanolin S S S
Dimethicone I I I
Amersil DMC 287 S S S
Amersil DMC 357 S 1% I
Mineral Oil S I I
Propylene glycol I I I
Petrolatum S S S
Cyclomethicone S S I
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
(Myritol 318) S S S
Glucam P-10 S I I
Glucam E-10 I I I
Carbomer 934 N I I I
Panalene S S I

S = soluble at 1%, 5% I = insoluble at 1% = only soluble

and 10% or at all levels all levels at 1%

UCON Fluid AP Gives Antiperspirants
Outstanding Emolliency and
Smooth Application
For roll-on, stick, soft solid, and aerosol antiperspirant systems, UCON Fluid
AP gives a remarkably soft, smooth emollient feel. It suspends antiperspirant
actives and assists their spreadability.

An ideal alternative to isopropyl myristate

If you’re looking for alternatives to isopropyl myristate to avoid
the acne and other allergic reactions this ingredient can cause,
UCON Fluid AP is the right choice. Clinical tests demonstrate
that UCON Fluid AP can be substituted for isopropyl myristate
without any change in antiperspirant efficacy.
In aerosol systems, stability tests show UCON Fluid AP provides more
stable suspension of chlorohydrol salts than isopropyl myristate.
In Dew Point Hygrometer testing, UCON Fluid AP shows approximately
25% moisture transmission reduction—very similar to isopropyl myristate.

Emolliency in Skin Care Formulations
The natural emolliency of UCON Fluids can add a luxurious feel and
demonstrably superior application properties to skin cream systems. Our
lab tests included both physical and subjective measures to compare the
performance of UCON Fluids to mineral oil.

Tests in oil-in-water emulsions

Mineral oil, UCON Fluid AP, and UCON Fluid LB-1715 were used at 6%
in the test formula in Table 4. As shown in Table 5, the test formulations
with UCON Fluids yielded higher viscosities, superior emollience, improved
slip, and longer “playtime” during application.

Table 4: Skin Cream Test Formula for Emolliency Comparison

Deionized Water 78.1
Carbomer 934 (3% aq.) 10.0
DMDM Hydantoin 0.4

Test Material† 6.0

Glucamate SSE-20 (PEG-20 Methyl Glucose 1.5
Glucate SS (Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate) 0.5
Cetal (Cetyl Alcohol) 0.5

Triethanolamine (10% aq.) 3.0

Test materials:
Mineral Oil T73-53-1
UCON Fluid AP T73-181-1
UCON Fluid LB-1715 T73-181-2

Table 5: Emollient Comparison Results
T73-53-1 (Mineral Oil)
Viscosity: 40,000 cPs
Appearance: White glossy cream
Feel Properties: Light emollience
More “watery” rub-in
Soft afterfeel

T73-181-1 (UCON Fluid AP)

Viscosity: 65,000 cPs
Appearance: Translucent gel cream
Feel properties: Improved initial slip
Good absorption
Long “playtime”
Soft afterfeel

T73-181-2 (UCON Fluid LB-1715)

Viscosity: 64,000 cPs
Appearance: Translucent gel cream
Feel properties: Most initial slip
Longer “playtime”
Slightly tacky dry-down
Heavier emollience

Emollience tests in water-in-oil emulsion system

To validate the emollience enhancement of UCON Fluids in
water-in-oil emulsion systems, we developed the mineral-oil-based
test formula shown in Table 6. Test panel evaluations for the two
systems highlight the multi-dimensional improvement in
formulation performance realized when a small amount of the
mineral oil was replaced by UCON Fluid LB-1715 (See Table 7).

Table 6: Water/Oil Emulsion Test Formula Table 7: Water/Oil Emulsion Results

T76-276-1 T76-276-2 T76-276-1 (Mineral Oil)

Glucate SS 5.0 % 5.0 % Greasy feel
Mineral Oil 20.0 17.0
UCON Fluid LB-1715 — 3.0 T76-276-2 (LB-1715/Mineral Oil)
Aluminum Stearate 0.3 0.3 Spreads more easily
Magnesium Stearate 0.3 0.3 Lighter emollience
MgSO4 • 3 H2O 0.5 0.5 Less draggy afterfeel
Deionized Water qs qs
Preservative qs qs

Salicylic Acid Study Demonstrates
Outstanding Solubility Properties
of UCON Fluids
This study was designed to model the solubility of salicylic acid in various
materials used in skin care formulations. The results show that UCON Fluids,
typically specified for emolliency and humectancy, also offer unusually good
solvency properties.
Salicylic acid is a common active used in skin care formulations like anti-acne
treatment products. Since it is recognized as a difficult material to solubilize
properly, salicylic acid provides a good reference point for comparing the
abilities of various materials to dissolve different formulation ingredients and
hold them in solution.
As seen in the photomicrographs in Figures 2 and 3, UCON Fluids are
excellent solvents for this difficult-to-dissolve material.

2 grams crystalline salicylic acid
5 grams “Test Material”

Add salicylic acid to “Test Material” at room temperature. Stir until uniform.
Perform microscopic analysis at 430 x magnification.

Salicylic Acid Study “Test Materials”

C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
Mineral Oil
PPG-14 Butyl Ether (UCON Fluid AP)
PPG-40 Butyl Ether (UCON Fluid LB-1715)
PPG-9 Buteth-12 (UCON Fluid 50-HB-660)

Figure 2: Salicylic Acid in Solvents

C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate PPG-14 Butyl Ether (UCON Fluid AP)

Figure 3: Salicylic Acid In Oil Systems

Mineral Oil Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride

PPG-14 Butyl Ether (UCON Fluid AP) PPG-40 Butyl Ether (UCON Fluid LB-1715) PPG-9-Buteth-12 (UCON Fluid 50-HB-660)

Pigmented Systems Get More
Efficient Wetting and Spreading
UCON Fluids can help you meet the challenge of wetting pigments, whether
hydrophobic or hydrophilic, over a wide range of pigment particle sizes.
In formulating pigmented products, two key points of performance are
wet points and flow points. The wet point gives an indication of wetting
efficiency and the pigment dispersion uniformity. The lower the wet point,
the less oil is necessary to “wet” out the pigment. The flow point provides an
idea of the ease of spreading and uniformity of coverage. The lower the flow
point, the lower the level of oil needed for internal lubrication of pigments.

Excellent wetting power

Tests conducted with a variety of commercial titanium dioxide products
(See Table 8) demonstrate the excellent wetting properties of UCON Fluid
AP compared to mineral oil and caprylic/capric triglyceride.
As seen in Figure 4, UCON Fluid AP provides far more efficient wetting of
TiO2. In many cases, UCON Fluid AP provided particle wetting at half or
even a third the level of mineral oil required, and significantly less than
caprylic/capric triglyceride.

Table 8: Titanium Dioxide Study Test Materials

Trade Name Supplier Particle Size, Type

Titanium Dioxide 328 Whittaker,
Clark & Daniels 0.3 Hydrophobic
Micro Titanium
Dioxide MT-100T Advanced Polymers 0.015 Hydrophobic
Micro Titanium
Dioxide MT-500B Advanced Polymers 0.35 Hydrophilic
Titanium Dioxide P25 Degussa 0.021-0.030 Hydrophilic
Titanium Dioxide 3328 Whittaker,
Clark & Daniels 0.25 Hydrophilic

Figure 4: Wet Points of UCON Fluid AP, Mineral Oil, and Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
With Commercial Titanium Dioxide Products


Mineral Oil
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
Wet Point, mL/100 Grams






TiO2 #328 TiO2 #MT-100T TiO2 #MT-500B TiO2 #P-25 TiO2 #3328

Even better flow properties
Using the same set of TiO2 materials, we conducted flow point tests with
UCON Fluid AP, mineral oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, and polyisobutene.
Figure 5 shows the remarkable efficiency of UCON Fluid AP at achieving
good flow of pigment particles compared to the other test materials.
By these comparisons, UCON Fluid AP stands out in its superb lubricating
qualities. The quantities of UCON Fluid AP required to achieve good flow
are close to those required for good wetting (compare Figures 4 and 5).
For mineral oil and caprylic/capric triglyceride, significantly higher
concentrations are required for good flow.

Figure 5: Flow Points of UCON Fluid AP, Mineral Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride,
and Polyisobutene With Commercial Titanium Dioxide Products


1000 Mineral Oil
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
Flow Point, mL/100 Grams





TiO2 #328 TiO2 #MT-100T TiO2 #MT-500B TiO2 #P-25 TiO2 #3328

Efficient Control of Viscosity in Table 9: Model Shampoo Systems
for Viscosity Studies
Surfactant-Thickened Shampoo Systems
T73-183-1 Salt w/w%
In surfactant-thickened shampoo systems, you can use UCON Fluids for fine Deionized Water 57.1
control of viscosity to meet performance and aesthetic objectives.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate 34.0
The three shampoo formulations detailed in Table 9 were developed to Lauramide DEA 4.0
evaluate the viscosity-controlling performance of UCON Fluids in systems Coco-Betaine 4.0
relying on different viscosity-building techniques. These include a conventional
DMDM Hydantoin 0.4
salt/surfactant combination, one using a cellulosic thickener (CELLOSIZETM
QP-4400 H), and another relying on surfactants alone. Citric Acid q.s. pH 7.0–7.4
Sodium Chloride 0.5
As shown in Figure 6, UCON Fluid 50-HB-660 very efficiently reduces the
viscosity of the surfactant system formulation (T73-185-1) at low use levels.
It had no viscosity-lowering effect on the cellulosic-thickened system, and T73-184-1 Cellulosic Gum
created only a minor viscosity reduction in the salt/surfactant system. Deionized Water 46.1

Other products within the UCON Fluid family may also be good candidates TEA-Lauryl Sulfate 50.0
for shampoo viscosity control. Figure 7 compares viscosity-reduction profiles Lauramide DEA 2.0
for UCON Fluid 50-HB-660 and UCON Fluid 50-HB-3520 in the surfactant CELLOSIZE QP 4400H 1.5
system formulation. While UCON Fluid 50-HB-3520 is a more efficient DMDM Hydantoin 0.4
viscosity-lowering additive, both UCON Fluids generate dramatic viscosity Citric Acid q.s. pH 7.0–7.4
reduction at very low concentrations. And
both follow similar viscosity-
reducing profiles across the T73-185-1 Surfactants
range of use levels tested Deionized Water 59.6
for the formulation. Lauramide DEA 5.0
TEA-Lauryl Sulfate 15.0
Sodium Laureth Sulfate 10.0
Citric Acid q.s. pH 6.5
Cocamidopropyl Betaine 10.0
DMDM Hydantoin 0.4

Figure 6: Viscosity Effect of UCON Fluid 50-HB-660
in Shampoo Systems


Cellulose Gum

Viscosity (cPs)


0 0.025 0.05 0.075 0.1 0.125

Concentration of UCON Fluid 50-HB-660, (%)

Figure 7: Viscosity-Lowering Comparison of

UCON Fluid 50-HB-660 vs UCON Fluid 50-HB-3520 in
Surfactant Combination Shampoo Formulation (T73-185-1)


UCON Fluid 50-HB-660

UCON Fluid 50-HB-3520
Viscosity (cPs)



0 0.025 0.05 0.075 0.1 0.125

Concentration of UCON Fluid (%)

A Good Candidate for Detackifying:
UCON Fluid 75-H-450
For formulations that need a little “lightening up,” UCON Fluids can
significantly reduce the sensation of tackiness during or after application.
They leave formulations feeling smoother without adversely affecting other
essential rheology properties.

Table 10: Test Formula for Detackification Study

Lubrajel DV
(Glyceryl polymethacrylate) 25.0%
Water 74.0%
Detackifier—each of the
following added to individual
samples of test formulation: 1.0%
UCON Fluid 50-HB-660
UCON Fluid 75-H-450
Dimethicone copolyol
Glucam E-20
(Methyl Gluceth-20)
Glucam P-10
(PPG-10 Methyl Glucose Ether)
Lubrajel oil1

To evaluate this property, we prepared the simple

test formulation shown in Table 10. Five panelists
performed sensory evaluations for the formulation
incorporating each of the six potential detackifiers shown.
The panelists rated the best-performing detackifiers
as follows:
1. UCON Fluid 75-H-450
2. Dimethicone copolyol
3. Glucam E-20

Glyceryl Polymethacrylate (and)
Propylene Glycol (and) PVM/MA
Copolymer from ISP

Table 11: Heat of Solution Data for
UCON Fluids in Water From Starting-
UCON Fluids Generate Useful Heat
Point Temperature of 22°C, 2.5:1 Ratio of Solution in Water
of Product to Water (10 g : 4 g)
UCON Fluids generate considerable heat of solution in water. They may be
considered for anhydrous products like self-heating facial masks, ointments,
Product Final Temperature, °C and hair conditioners. The UCON Fluids provide heat while acting as
UCON Fluid 75-H-450 emollient solvents.
(PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer) 32
UCON Fluid 50-HB-400
(PPG-9-Buteth-12) 30
Suggested Applications for UCON Fluids
UCON Fluid 50-HB-660
(PPG-12-Buteth-16) 30
UCON Fluid 50-HB-3520 Table 12: Suggested Applications for UCON Fluids
(PPG-28-Buteth-35) 31 by Finished Product Type
UCON Fluid 50-HB-5100
(PPG-33-Buteth-45) 31

Application Suggested UCON Fluids Functional

Shampoos UCON Fluid 50-HB-660 Used for viscosity
UCON Fluid 50-HB-3520 adjustments
UCON Fluid 50-HB-5100
Hair treatments UCON Fluid LB-1145 Provides shine
UCON Fluid LB-1715 Improves slip
UCON Fluid 50-HB-660 Allows for rinsable
UCON Fluid 50-HB-3520 lubrication
UCON Fluid 50-HB-5100
Fixatives UCON Fluid LB-1145 Provides shine
UCON Fluid LB-1715 Acts as a film plasticizer
UCON Fluid 50-HB-660 Broad compatibility
UCON Fluid 50-HB-3520 range
UCON Fluid 50-HB-5100
Antiperspirants UCON Fluid AP Provides emollience
Good compatibility
Oils UCON Fluid LB-1145 Reduces greasiness
UCON Fluid LB-1715
Sunscreens UCON Fluid LB-1145 Solvent for actives
UCON Fluid LB-1715 (octyl salicylate,
UCON Fluid AP cinnamate)
Toners UCON Fluid 75-H-450 Provides emollience
UCON Fluid 50-HB-660
UCON Fluid 50-HB-3520
UCON Fluid 50-HB-5100

Table 13: Recommended UCON Fluids by Physical Form
of Finished Product
Physical Form Suggested UCON Fluids Contributions
O/W Emulsions UCON Fluid 50-HB-660 Provides emollience
UCON Fluid 50-HB-3520 Reduces tackiness
UCON Fluid 50-HB-5100
UCON Fluid LB-1145 Oil phase alternative
UCON Fluid LB-1715 Easily emulsifiable
UCON Fluid AP Provides emollience
W/O Emulsions UCON Fluid LB-1145 Provides non-greasy
UCON Fluid LB-1715 emollience
UCON Fluid AP Improves spreading
Hydrogels UCON Fluid 75-H-450 Provides emollience
UCON Fluid 50-HB-660
UCON Fluid 50-HB-3520
UCON Fluid 50-HB-5100
Pigmented UCON Fluid LB-1145 Provides good
Systems UCON Fluid LB-1715 pigment wetting
UCON Fluid AP Gives emollience
Improves spreadability
Anhydrous UCON Fluid 75-H-450 Provides detackification
Systems UCON Fluid 50-HB-660 Improves afterfeel
UCON Fluid 50-HB-3520 Enhances clarity
UCON Fluid 50-HB-5100 Heat generation
Provides emolliency
Provides solvency

Take the Next Step:

Contact Amerchol Today
This literature can only provide a general overview of the many
useful properties of UCON Fluids. There’s much more to
learn about how they can contribute to the performance
and aesthetics of your formulations. To learn more, contact
us at the numbers shown on the back of this literature or
visit our website at

Clarification Wetting
UCON Fluids
For more information, complete literature, and product samples, you can reach a Dow
representative at the following numbers:

From the United States and Canada call 1-800-FOR ELEGANCE (1-800-367-3534)
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Published March 2005

Printed in USA *Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company Form No. 324-00179-0305 AMS