Propylene Oxide Glycol Ethers (POGEs) and their esters are colourless, stable liquids of medium to high boiling point and mild odour. They are often used in reformulation to compensate for the absence of aromatics for controlling viscosity, and for their ability to ‘couple’ aqueous and organic phases.
They mix with both water and other solvents, and combine powerful dissolving characteristics with medium to low volatility. This gives them some key performance including:
- Miscibility with water
- Compatibility with a wide range of polar and non-polar solvents
- High solvent power
- Medium-Low volatility
- Coalescence and/or coupling
Methyl PROXITOL is the methyl ether of propylene glycol and has a slightly lower boiling point and higher evaporation rate than its Ethyl PROXITOL counterpart. It is completely water-soluble and is also compatible with many resins, greases, oils and waxes. Its ether and alcohol groups give it bi-functionality, with excellent coupling properties in aqueous-organic systems.
Their versatility means POGEs have multiple industrial and consumer uses, the most common ones being paints and coatings, cleaners, inks, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. In coatings POGEs provide good solvency for a wide variety of resins including acrylic, epoxies, polyesters, nitrocellulose and polyurethanes. For cleaners they offer low toxicity, good coupling, wetting and penetration, and high solvency for polar and nonpolar materials.
In the electronics industry POGEs may be used in conjunction with other solvents in the manufacture of laminates and in semiconductor processes which are used to make circuit boards. Other significant applications are agricultural, cosmetic, ink, textile and adhesive products.
POGEs can be used in combination with other glycol ethers or solvents to custom tailor properties to meet formulation requirements. They also have regulatory advantages, including higher workplace exposure limits than equivalent Ethylene Oxide-based Glycol Ethers.
Propylene Oxide Glycol Ethers (POGEs) and their Acetates are effective in many surface coating technologies including:
- high and low solid coatings
- waterborne emulsions
- water-reducible coatings
As ‘true solvents’ POGEs are able to dissolve many resins in all proportions, and are particularly useful in promoting flow properties. They also encourage good gloss and film properties by maintaining the resin(s) in solution throughout the film formation process.
POGEs may also play an important part in meeting VOC regulations. Their high solvent power means they can be used in high solids coatings to maintain low viscosity and application performance properties.
Higher boiling POGEs and their Esters are efficient coalescent solvents in waterborne latex emulsions. They reduce film formation temperatures, allowing harder resins to be formulated into ambient cure coatings.
Industrial and household cleaners
POGEs can be used in all types of cleaners. They may help to reduce surface tension and are excellent coupling agents. Working in conjunction with a surfactant, they facilitate wetting of the surface, penetration of the soil, and help to suspend the soil in water until it is wiped or rinsed away.
The choice of glycol ether depends on the type of cleaning application, the nature of the soil, and the solubility and evaporation rate required. Blends of glycol ethers and surfactants can be used to optimise cleaning performance and efficiency.
Combinations of POGEs and other solvents can be used to achieve the right solvent power, evaporation rates, levelling properties, water miscibility and solubility for ink formulations. They can also be used to adjust surface tension and viscosity, promoting deep and even penetration of inks on soft substrates.
The solvent and coupling properties of POGEs are utilised in many cosmetic and toiletry formulations. They can be used to stabilise emulsions used in lotions, preventing the active ingredient particles from dropping out of suspension. This helps to maintain the aesthetic appearance of the product and can increase shelf-life. They can also be used to improve water repellency in products such as sun screens.
How to buy from us
Shell Chemicals can supply a broad range of bulk hydrocarbon and chemical solvents to industrial customers. To make an initial enquiry,please complete this contact us to buy form.
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