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Wetting agents

All wetting agents are surfactants, but not all surfactants are wetting agents. Wetting agents are a class of surfactants that lower the interfacial tension of a liquid. An example is water. Water has a high interfacial tension, so a drop of water tends to “bead” on a hydrophobic surface, such as plastic. A wetting agent in the water will reduce the tendency of the water to bead and reduce its contact angle. 

How far a surfactant is also a wetting agent will depend strongly on the hydrophile lipophile balance of the molecule in question. 

We have developed a ground-breaking range of wetting agents that significantly reduce the surface tension of liquids allowing effortless spreading and superior wetting. Our novel products can significantly alter the wetting ability of solids, aiding in the removal of emulsifying agents in crude oil.

Like you, we are focused on producing high performance technologies with minimised environmental impact. Our highly effective Crodasinic™ wetting agent has been approved by the US EPA Design for the Environment (DfE) eco-labeling program offering independent assurance that our chemistries are safe to the environment. We also offer a wetting agent which are biodegradable and 100% biobased.

Waterborne adhesives, coatings, and graphical and functional inks are environmentally favourable, but the high surface tension of water introduces challenges which the formulator can solve with wetting agents. Proper wetting ensures even aesthetic appearance, uniform thickness, and contributes to adhesion and longevity.

Our Multiwet range provide excellent wetting of aggregated particles and improve levelling on substrates. All are non-fluorinated surfactants for aqueous systems with excellent environmental performance. Being low foaming, the use of silicones may also be avoided. Being also biodegradable and APEO free, this range is contributing to a sustainable formulation.

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Foaming solution by Croda

Surfactants commonly used for surface wetting will cause foam and require addition of a defoamer to the formulation. Besides adding complexity and cost, silicone or oil-based defoamers often lead to quality defects such as pinholes or so-called fisheyes. Choosing a wetting agent such as a Multiwet, which does not cause significant foaming, is a solution to this problem. 

In addition to improving flow and leveling of waterborne surface treatments, Multiwets can be used to reduce time and energy to disperse aggregates of solid pigment, filler and functional particles. 

Croda advanced materials for display technologies

Simplify your aqueous formulations

Multiwet surfactants are successful in wetting multiple kinds of substrates. This includes plastics commonly used in packaging applications which are also a challenge to bond, coat, or overprint in more durable and critical applications such as electronics. Similarly large, complex surfaces which are too difficult or time consuming to properly clean and prepare prior to application may be wetted out efficiently with the use of Multiwet.

Would you like to know more about our wetting agents?