Specialty chemicals are a sub-category of the “fine chemical” industry. They are high value custom manufactured materials produced to provide unique properties. As such, these chemicals are used in small quantities and sold at a premium price.

Examples of specialty chemicals include molecules that either have a unique architecture or promote a unique structure in a bulk material such as; nanoparticles that give unique optical effects, nano-tubes that provide reinforcement, or siloxanes that enhance interfacial bonding. Other examples include waxes with unique comb like structures or viscosity modifiers that can alter rheological behavior, particulates that act as nucleating agents in the crystallization of thermoplastics, flocculating agents used in the waste water industry, polyelectrolytes or surfactants that provide desired surface phenomenology.

In order to develop and optimize the production of these materials it is necessary to monitor a range of physical characteristics. Malvern’s range of instrumentation can be used in the study of specialty chemicals to:

  • Study surface activity and interfacial behavior
  • Identify surface adsorption
  • Characterize molecular weight and polymer structure
  • Measure particle size, phase and dispersion properties
  • Understand the flow behavior and influence of time or stress conditions on rheological properties.

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