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Published on July 22, 2008

Stabilizing Water-Based Dispersions and Emulsions

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Date Published July 22, 2008

This Report has been authored by:Carrie Burr at R.T. Vanderbilt Co.

The stabilization of an aqueous dispersion can be very challenging, particularly if it has a high solids content and the suspension must be easily poured or pumped. The use of smectite clay as a suspending agent in a dispersion can significantly reduce these challenges. Smectite clay (also known as bentonite clay) is valued for its ability to swell in water and to impart useful rheological properties to aqueous compositions. In addition, smectite clays can eliminate the use of casein (a milk protein that may cause allergic reactions in some individuals) in many water-based dispersions and emulsions. These clays can also be used with other suspension stabilizers such as xanthan gum for even greater control over stability, viscosity and flow properties.