Water Treatment
Sugar Processing
Soaps & Detergents
Cleaning Products
Pulp & Paper Production
Paper Coatings
Latex Systems
Carpet Backing
Textile Sizing
Addition of an ALCOGUM® or ALCOGUM L-SERIES rheology modifier to an aqueous system is noted by a significant increase in the viscosity of the system. This response is typically referred to as thickening the system. The degree of thickening is a function of the thickener or rheology modifier selected, the level used, and the shear rate at which the system is measured. Arkem offers a broad range of thickeners and rheology modifiers to assist in formulating products for application areas including paper and paperboard coating, adhesive and textile compounding, paint formulation, and cleaning compositions, among many others.
Rheology Modification
Rheology is defined as the study of the deformation and flow of matter. The deformation or flow is in response to an external stress applied to a fluid system. The viscosity of a fluid system is a measure of the fluid’s resistance to flow. ALCOGUM® and ALCOGUM L-SERIES rheology modifiers enable the formulator to design optimized performance into products in a broad range of application areas including paper and paperboard coating, adhesive and textile compounding, paint formulation, cleaning compositions among many others.
Scale and deposit control
Arkem’s line of AQUATREAT® polymers provide control of mineral scale and deposits using a combination of three mechanisms: Threshold Inhibition, Dispersion, and Crystal Modification.

Threshold Inhibition defines the ability of the polymer to maintain the solubility of an otherwise insoluble salt beyond it’s normal or predicted limits at a sub-stoichiometric level. This property allows Arkem’s AQUATREAT® products to be powerful and cost effective tools in preventing precipitation of various salts in a wide range of applications.

AQUATREAT® polymers are effective particulate dispersants. This effect refers to the polymer’s ability to maintain a stable distance between particles thus preventing agglomeration. The end result can produce a suspension of particles in solution or increase flowability of particles in systems where suspension is not viable.

The crystal modification properties of polymers may be the most powerful and most overlooked property of Arkem’s AQUATREAT® products. These polymers have the unique ability to modify forming inorganic crystals. Often, the severity of the distortion will have a significant effect upon the properties of the resultant crystal formation. An example of this effect is in the control of calcium carbonate in industrial water treatment systems. In these systems, calcium carbonate tends to form in cubic structures called calcite. These calcite crystals have large flats surfaces or faces which can tenaciously attach to surfaces such as heat exchangers. This is a detrimental effect as the buildup of these deposits will impede heat transfer and plug the heat exchanger tubing. The addition of AQUATREAT® polymers can distort the forming calcite crystal such that it’s ability to form a permanent attachment to a surface is minimized and the surfaces are kept clean.
Arkem polymers can provide both electrostatic and steric stabilization of solid particulates in water, providing a low viscosity suspension with good rheological properties. Electrostatic stabilization comes from the coordination of the polycarboxylates to the surface of the mineral particle. The polymer is attracted to the surface by the particle positive charge of the metal atom. For example, when dispersing calcium carbonate, the anionic charge of the polymer is attracted to the cationic charge of the calcium ion. The polymer is then bound to the surface and, since it is overall negative in charge, causes the particle to become more negatively charged. The polymer then increases the negative surface potential (zeta potential) of the particle. The more negative the zeta potential, typically the more stable the dispersion as these negatively charged particles repel each other and will not agglomerate.

Steric stabilization is accomplished when polymers attach to the surface of particles but do not lie flat on the surface. The polymers form loops and tails and increase the hydrodynamic volume of the particle. This can prevent the particles from getting close enough to coalesce and precipitate.