Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Advanced Questions Updated HLB master list out there?

  • Updated HLB master list out there?

    Posted by chemicalmatt on January 19, 2021 at 8:15 pm

    My e-file for  HLB values is probably from the early 1990’s. Does  anyone have or know where to find an updated compendium of HLB values for currently used nonionic emulsifiers and lipids? I’d like to see the many non-ETO emulsifiers (i.e. polyglyceryl esters) added to such lists, wherever they are…or aren’t.

    pharma replied 3 years, 1 month ago 4 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • pharma

    January 20, 2021 at 7:29 pm
    HLB is utterly useless outside a narrow range of surfactant systems using PEG-derivatives.
    Some suppliers do publish HLB-ranges for polyglyceryl esters and the like but only because cosmetic formulators are extremely stubborn (or stupid) and can’t let go of the HLB system. True, I also had to learn HLB during my studies but that was in a time where PEG-derivatives were in full bloom.
    The problem is raw material manufacturers do not share (or do not know) other, more useful parameters such as those used for HLD calculations.
  • chemicalmatt

    January 20, 2021 at 9:18 pm

    @Pharma  Your opinion is noted and hardly novel. What you may not have realized is that the HLB system was never intended to be a certainty but merely a guideline to assess a starting point, plus it only applied to nonionics and a precious few anionics (e.g. lecithin, a fave of the “all-natural” crowd.) Relying on it 100% could be considered “stubborn”; though I would not digress to considering my peers “stupid”. Also, PEG and ETO nonionics are still in “full bloom” for us many “stubborn” formulators who use them every day. Many manufacturers of PG and Gly ester emulsifiers have not been able to calculate a rough HLB for their emulsifiers, but some have made a good stab at it. Regarding the PIT-HLD values you mention: not a single supplier I know has been able to supply intel on those parameter values, and I have asked. Useful: yes, workable: not so much. 

  • bill_toge

    January 20, 2021 at 11:21 pm

    individual manufacturers often supply figures for their own materials, but I don’t know of any recent source that’s compiled all of those figures in once place

  • pharma

    January 21, 2021 at 5:56 am
    @chemicalmatt Wasn’t intended as an offence ;) .
    Sure, as a guideline it’s okay, as good as the notion ‘w/o emulsifier’ or ‘detergent’. But you can as well just look at the molecule and tell that much.
    And yea you’re right, PEGs are still in full bloom… let’s call it then the predominant hype or something in that direction?
    The problem with measuring HLB by PIT technique is that many non-PEG emulsifiers lack a cloud point and calculating is more an estimation due to polyglyceryl esters being non-linear unlike their PEG counterparts.
  • microformulation

    January 21, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    If you follow the most recent Croda Guidance, in their reference, they discuss calculating an HLB. However, I will agree with Pharma in many respects. I used it a great deal more in OTC manufacturing in the past where PEG’s were common. It does give a starting point for your initial proposed emulsification system which you can then tweak at the bench.

  • pharma

    January 21, 2021 at 7:24 pm

    Regarding calculations: THIS might help ;) .

  • bill_toge

    January 21, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    it’s never been an exact science, but it’s definitely a good rule of thumb

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