Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Fixing “stringy” nail lacquer

  • Fixing “stringy” nail lacquer

    Posted by jasondub on June 3, 2015 at 3:26 am

    Hey guys,

    We just received a 55 gallon drum of nail polish base from a supplier of ours. Normally the base we receive from them has no problems but this particular batch gets stringy relatively quickly… by stringy I mean the very fine floating spiderweb-like strings after a few strokes of a brush. This happens straight from the drum (no pigments added).
    I’ve checked out the INCI of the base and have tried to resolve the issue with various solvents that I have on hand (ethyl acetate, nbutyl acetate, ipa) but can’t quite seem to make it stop without thinning it out too much. In a perfect world I’d just return this and get a new batch but unfortunately we’re strapped for time so as a last resort I’m trying to repair it.
    Any thoughts on an ideal ratio of solvents to add to the base to fix this issue with minimal thinning? I believe IPA has the slowest evaporation rate but adding this directly to the base appeared to pull the nitrocellulose out of the solution and into globs of white chunks. 
    Any input would be really appreciated! 
    Bobzchemist replied 9 years ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Chemist77

    June 3, 2015 at 5:57 am

    Guess your best bet would be to inform the supplier and as a manufacturer the company would be compelled to give you the best solutions rather than taking back the delivery. Inform them the solvents you have and if they can guide you with these then well and good and if not then they will let you the best option. This way you learn something new and avoid the need to return the delivery.

  • Bobzchemist

    June 3, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    I agree with contacting your supplier. Something odd is going on with one or more of your film-formers. Adding solvent may or may not be the correct solution, but you really need to check with the chemist who formulated the base. It may be that you need more plasticizer, for example.

    If you have the capacity to mix something into the entire drum, your supplier may be able to send you a correcting adjustment mini-batch. This could be a way for them to preserve their formulation secrecy and still fix your batch.

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