Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose: Overview And Applications

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Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) is also known as Hypromellose. It is a chemically modified cellulose polymer.


As a powder, HPMC is off-white and is considered safe for consumption.


It has a high viscosity and is frequently used in ophthalmic preparations as artificial tears for dry eyes.


HPMC can be used in various applications and serves as a coating agent in the pharmaceutical industry.


Nevertheless, whenever you need hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, always source from a trusted manufacturer that will guarantee you of the best quality.



The physical properties of HPMC


1. Density

The actual density is 1.39 g/cm3.

2. Physical Properties and Appearance

HPMC is an off-white fibrous substance in granular powder.

3. Stability

In solid form, HPMC is flammable and incompatible with strong oxidants.

4. Solubility

HPMC is nearly unsolvable in absolute ethanol, acetone, and ether. It swells and turns into a bit turbid colloidal solution when mixed in cold water.

The chemical properties of HPMC


1. Appearance

HPMC is an off-white substance in powdered form.

2. Discoloration temperature

It ranges from 190-200 ℃.

3. Carbonization temperature

HPMC carbonizes at a temperature between 280-300 ℃.

4. Surface tension

A 2% aqueous solution is 42-56 dyn/cm.

5. Visual density

Visual density ranges from 0.25-0.70g/cm (but usually about 0.5g/cm) and specific gravity ranges from 1.26-1.31.

6. Particle size

The particle size of special specifications ranges from 40 to 60 meshes. 100 mesh pass rate is more than 98.5% while the 80 mesh pass rate is 100%.

7. Solubility

HPM is highly soluble in water as well as other solvents, such as propanol, ethanol, etc.

The solubility changes with viscosity, the lower the viscosity the greater the and vice versa.

The aqueous solution of HPMC has surface activity. However, the gelling temperature of HPMC in different specifications is different with high transparency and stable performance.

A reduction in methoxy content also lead to a similar decreases in HPMC, and this leads to an increase of gelling point, a decrease in surface activity, and a decrease in water solubility.

Other properties of HPMC

Ø Cohesion

Ø Dimensional stability

Ø Water retention capacity

Ø Salt-resistant low ash powder

Ø pH stability

Ø Excellent film-forming ability

Ø Thickening ability

Ø Extensive enzyme resistance



Common uses of HPMC

1. Alternative to Gluten

HPMC also serves as an alternative to gluten in gluten-free food.

If used while baking bread, it restricts the diffusion and loss of water from the bread crumb as well as the interactions between starch and protein macromolecules.


This gives a softer gluten-free bread and also reduces staleness during storage.


2. Alternative to Gelatin

HPMC serves as a good replacement for gelatin due to its physical similarity to gelatin and the vegetarian source.


It is quite useful if you need to make your supplements since it can help vegetarians as well as those with dietary restrictions consume supplements and medications.



Industrial Applications of HPMC


1. Construction

HPMC uses putty powder, gypsum or other building materials that can serve as a good adhesive material to increase the applicability and prolong the operation time.

They are also applied in pasting ceramic tile, plastic decoration, marble, paste strengthening agent, and also to slash the quantity of cement used.

As a water-retaining agent and retarder of cement mortar, HPMC makes the mortar pumpable.

The ability to retain water by HPMC helps prevent the slurry from having cracks resulting form a quick drying up once the smear has been don. This also improves the durability of of the surface after setting.

2. Coatings industry

It serves as a thickener, stabilizer, and dispersant used in various coating industry. Due to its ability to quickly dissolve in water or other organic solvents. It  can also act as a paint remover.

3. Polyvinyl chloride

It functioned as the dispersant in the production of polyvinyl chloride and that makes it the main assistant in the preparation of PVC by suspension polymerization.

4. Ink printing

Because of its high solubility in water and organic solvent, HPMC acts as a dispersant, stabilizer and thickener in the ink industry.

5. Ceramic manufacturing industry

It is used as adhesives in the manufacture of ceramic products.

6. Plastics industry

Acts as an agent for the removal of forming. It also serve as lubricant and softener, etc.

7. Pharmaceutical Industry

HPMC is used in the pharmaceutical industry as;

ü Stabilizer

ü Membrane Material

ü Tablet Adhesive

ü Suspension Aid

ü Coating Material

ü Speed-Controlled Polymer Material for Sustained Release Agents.


8. Others

HPMC also has a wide application in

· Fruit and vegetable preservation

· Leather

· Paper products

· Textile Industry.



Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), commonly known as Hypromelloseis a modified cellulose polymer.

It is an off-white, powdered substance with various physical and chemical properties.

Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose can be used in different industries and also serve as a replacement for gluten and gelatin in vegan-friendly products.

Finally, always team up with a trusted manufacturer for the best deal on Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose.


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