ESTISURF® nonionic emulsifiers in cleaning agents

Widely used in cleaning formulations

In various industries such as printing, automotive, and manufacturing, the effective removal of contaminants like printing inks, oils, and greases is crucial for maintaining operational efficiency and product quality. Solvent-based cleaning agents play a vital role in this regard, offering powerful cleaning capabilities. Central to the formulation of these agents are nonionic emulsifiers, which enhance their emulsification properties and overall efficacy.

ESTI CHEM offers a range ESTISURF® nonionic emulsifiers for application in such cleaning fluids. ESTISURF® nonionic emulsifiers offer enhanced cleaning performance, improved emulsion quality and excellent compatibility with hydrocarbon solvents and with ESTISOL® ester-based vegetable solvents.

ESTISURF® nonionic emulsifiers - An overview

Nonionic emulsifiers are surfactants characterized by their lack of ionic charge in solution. They are widely used in cleaning formulations due to their compatibility with various solvents and their ability to stabilize emulsions, facilitating the removal of stubborn contaminants.

ESTI CHEM provides several classes of ESTISURF® nonionic emulsifiers with varying HLB value and solubility characteristics.  Many ESTISURF® products have a high bio-carbon content, and many of the products are free from CLP hazard labelling.

The ESTISURF® nonionic emulsifiers are derived from the condensation of ethylene oxide and propylene oxide with fatty acids or alcohols.

ESTISURF® products have a high bio-carbon content
ESTISURF® contribute to the formulation of cleaning agents

They exhibit varying solubility in both aqueous and organic solvents, making them suitable for a wide range of cleaning applications.

In solvent-based cleaning agents, ESTISURF® emulsifiers function as emulsifiers, aiding in the dispersion and removal of hydrophobic contaminants such as oils and greases.

They also contribute to the formulation of cleaning agents by imparting emulsification and wetting properties, thereby enhancing the solubilization and dispersion of contaminants. Additionally, they can act as solubilizers for certain polar solvents, improving the overall solubility of the cleaning formulation.

In cleaning agent formulations for removal of printing inks, ESTISURF® emulsifiers facilitate the breakdown and dispersion of hydrophobic substances such as printing inks and oils. Their ability to stabilize oil-in-water emulsions enhances the cleaning efficacy of solvent-based agents, enabling thorough removal of contaminants from various surfaces.

Formulation of solvent-based cleaning agents

Solvent-based cleaning agents are formulated to effectively remove a wide range of contaminants while minimizing surface damage and residue formation.

The selection of solvent and emulsifier plays a critical role in determining the cleaning efficacy and compatibility of the formulation with various substrates. The selection of the formulation components is critical to get the best cleaning performance possible for a particular application.

Solvent selection:

Typical cleaning solvents are low-priced hydrocarbon solvents such as white spirit, but dearomatized white spirit and iso-paraffins are gaining importance due to an improved toxicity profile.

However, an even more popular step is to apply ESTISOL® ester-based solvents to get rid of the hydrocarbon solvents completely.

Typical ESTISOL® solvents for this application are ESTISOL 312, ESTISOL 295, ESTISOL 242, ESTISOL 210, and ESTISOL 190.

Emulsifier system:

The emulsifier system in solvent-based cleaning agents typically comprises a combination of nonionic emulsifiers to ensure effective emulsification and dispersion of contaminants.

Usually, a combination of ESTISURFs® with different HLB values are applied such as an ESTISURF® with a HLB value of 7-9 and an ESTISURF® with a HLB value of 10-13.  

Typical ESTISURF® emulsifiers are ESTISURF 950, ESTISURF 965, ESTISURF 970, ESTISURF 1618/3, and ESTISURF 1618/7.

ESTISURF M27 and ESTISURF M29 are fully formulated emulsifier packages, which contains emulsifiers with varying HLB value and coupling agents, so it can be applied as single emulsifier in emulsifiable solvent-based cleaners. 

Co-solvents & additives:

Co-solvents such as glycol ethers and coupling agents may be incorporated into the formulation to enhance solvency and facilitate the removal of polar contaminants.

Additives such as corrosion inhibitors may also be included to improve cleaning efficiency and protect the substrate from damage.

A typical ESTI CHEM product for this application is ESTISURF 430 applied as coupling agent. 

Nonionic emulsifiers play a pivotal role in the formulation of solvent-based cleaning agents designed for the removal of printing inks, oils, greases, and other challenging contaminants. ESTISURF® contribute to the emulsification, dispersion, and solubilization of hydrophobic substances, enhancing the cleaning efficiency of these agents.

By understanding the properties and applications of nonionic emulsifiers, formulators can develop effective solvent-based cleaning formulations tailored to specific cleaning requirements across various industries ⇒  

ESTI CHEM can help you with this!

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