Why is HEC commonly used in paints?

Cellulose ethers commonly used in paints include methyl cellulose (MC), hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) and hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose (HPMC). These water-soluble polymers have different chemical modifications and properties, but all have thickening and stabilizing effects. Among them, hydroxyethyl cellulose is one of the most widely used thickeners in the paints industry. Hydroxyethyl cellulose is prepared by reacting cellulose with ethylene oxide, which grafts hydroxyethyl groups to the cellulose backbone. The degree of substitution (DS) and molecular weight of hydroxyethyl cellulose can be varied to produce products with different thickening efficiency and rheological properties.

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