Description of technical functions

Any substance, inorganic or organic, natural or synthetic, used to join opposite surfaces to each other, promote bonding between other substances, promote adhesion of surfaces, or fasten other materials together. They are generally applied from a solvent solution and allowed to dry on the two facing surfaces.

Substance that retards oxidation, rancidity, deterioration, and gum formation; used to maintain the quality, integrity, and safety of finished products by inhibiting the oxidative degradation of the ingredients in the formulation. Saturated polymers have greater oxidative stability and require relatively low concentrations of stabilizers.

Antistain agent is a substance that provides stain blocking and soil resistance to soft surface cleaners and protectors.

Any cementitious material that is used to hold dry powders or aggregate together; added to compounded dry powder mixtures of solids to provide adhesive qualities during and after compression to make tablets or cakes; is soft at high temperatures and hard at room temperature.

Substance intended for preventing, neutralizing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating the effects of any pest or microorganism; that inhibits the growth, reproduction, and activity of organisms, including fungal cells; decreases the number of fungi or pests present; deters microbial growth and degradation of other ingredients in the formulation.

A bleaching agent is a material that lightens or whitens a substrate through chemical reaction. The bleaching reactions usually involve oxidative or reductive processes that degrade colour systems.Bleaching and decolourization can occur by destroying one or more of the double bonds in the conjugated chain, by cleaving the conjugated chain, or by oxidation of one of the other moieties in the conjugated chain.

Substance that is used to brighten, whiten, or enhance the appearance of colour of fabric and paper, usually by absorbing light in the ultraviolet and violet region (340-370 nm) of the electromagnetic spectrum, and re-emitting light in the blue region (420-470 nm). This causes a “whitening” effect by increasing the overall amount of blue light reflected. Optically colourless on the substrate and do not absorb in the visible part of the spectrum.

Substances that increase the efficiency of a chemical reaction e.g. reaction needs less energy. Catalysts take part in the reaction but are not consumed during the process.

Substance or material used to remove dirt or impurities from surfaces; acts to loosen and remove dirt and grease from surfaces.

Chemical substance used to prevent or retard corrosion metallic materials. They are needed in many products packaged in metal containers (such as aerosol products) and also used in such products as lubricants and other metal treatment products to provide protection to the substrates or surfaces on which the lubricants are used.

Substance added to a suspending medium or suspension to improve the separation of particles; to ensure proper dispersion; to prevent settling or clumping; to encourage uniform and maximum separation of individual, extremely fine solid particles or liquid droplets, often of colloidal size. A typical use is dispersal of dyes to ensure uniform coloration.

Substance used to impart colour to other materials or mixtures; added to a material to add colour; soluble. Molecularly dispersed within a liquid, transferred to a material, and bound to that material through intermolecular forces. Typically an organic substance, although exceptions do exist. A dye requires some degree of solubility that allows it diffuse into the polymeric matrix of a textile fibre.

Chemical substances used to impart such functions as softening, staticproofing, wrinkle resistance, and water repellence. Substances may be applied to textiles, paper, and leather.

Substance used to interact with a dye on fibres to improve fastness.

Flame retardation is a process by which the normal degradation or combustion processes of polymers have been altered by the addition of certain chemicals. They are substances used on the surface of or incorporated into combustible materials to reduce or eliminate their tendency to ignite when exposed to heat or a flame for a short period of time; used to raise its ignition point; used to slow down or prevent combustion.

Chemical substances used to impart control odours or impart pleasing odours. Fragrance compounds are molecules that stimulate the human olfactory chemical senses.

Increases the strength, hardness, and abrasion resistance of coatings, adhesives, sealants, elastomers, and other products.

Substance that protect polymers from the chemical degrading effects of heat or UV irradiation.

Substance used to admix with solid materials, which retain their original form.

Any substance, usually in the form of a dry powder, that imparts colour to another substance or mixture by attaching themselves to the surface of the substrate through binding or adhesion; may contribute towards opacity, durability, and corrosion resistance. Must have positive colorant value; larger than molecular particle size and held in place by corresponding low mobility; scatter and absorb light.Pigments differ from dyes in that they are insoluble in the vehicle and exist as dispersed compounds in paint rather than as a solute.

An organic compound that softens synthetic polymers; added to a high polymer to facilitate processing and to increase flexibility, plasticity, fluidity and toughness of the final product by internal modification (solution) of the polymer molecule. Plasticizers may be added internally or externally. A rigid polymer can also be externally plasticized by addition of a plasticizer, which imparts the desired flexibility but is not chemically changed by reaction with the polymer.

Substances/materials used as a source for a layer of metal deposited on another surface, or that aid in such a deposition. These are used in processes such as electroplating, galvanization or coating.

Substance that reacts with and removes surface contaminants and is generally consumed, e.g., oxides, sulfides.

Substance applied to substrates such as fabric, yarn, paper products, or plaster to increase abrasive resistance, stiffness, strength, smoothness, or reduce absorption.

Substance used for softening materials to improve feel, to facilitate finishing process, or to impart flexibility or workability; used in textile finishing to impart superior “hand” to the fabric and facilitate mechanical processing; has the capability of imparting softness and pliability to washable textile fabrics.

Any substance that can dissolve another substance (solute) to form a uniformly dispersed mixture (solution) at the molecular or ionic size level; provides dissolving capability required for a stable formulation; dissolves certain components of the formulation to aid dispersion of components; aids oil cleansing power and controls film drying rate; allows the product to solubilize soils on surfaces and facilitate removal; used to dissolve, thin, dilute, and extract.

A substance that tends to keep a compound, solution, or mixture from changing its form or chemical nature;  renders or maintains a solution, mixture, suspension, or state resistant to chemical change; used to prevent or slow down spontaneous changes in and ageing of materials.

A surface active agent (surfactant) which, when added to water, causes it to penetrate more easily into, or to spread over the surface of another material by reducing the surface tension of the water (see detergent).

Substance used for treating hides and skins.

Substance that protects the product from chemical or physical deterioration induced by ultraviolet light; absorbs UV radiation, thereby protecting varnishes and pigments against UV degradation.

Substance that is applied to a substrate to protect it from heat by dissipating heat through the process of erosion, melting, or vaporization of the material.

An abrasive is a substance used to abrade, smooth, or polish an object. Abrasives are used to remove imperfections from a surface; used to smooth, scour, scrub, clean, wear down, or polish surfaces by rubbing against the surface; usually fine powders of hard substances. Examples include sandstones, pumice, quartz, silicates, aluminium oxides, and glass.

Chemical substance used to retain other substances by assimilation.

Chemical substance used to retain other substances by accumulation on their surface; substance with a large surface area which can attract dissolved or finely dispersed substances from another medium.

Substance that influences the amount of air or gases entrained in a material.

Substance that prevents or reduces the adhesion of a material to itself or to another material; prevents bonding between other substances by discouraging surface attachment; functions as the antitheses of adhesive.

Substances that are added to metals alloys like steel to modify its properties such as strength, hardness, or to facilitate its treatment.

Substance that prevents granular or particulate materials from sticking or caking during transfer, storage, or use.

Substance or material that is used to avoid condensation on surfaces and in the atmosphere.

A substance added to fluids, especially water, to reduce the freezing point of the mixture, or applied to surfaces to melt or prevent the build-up of ice. Examples of products include antifreeze liquids, windshield de-icers, aircraft de-icers, lock release agents, ice melting crystals, and rock salt.

Any substance that prevents dirt and grease from resettling on a cleaned surface or that helps keep soils from re-depositing onto clothing in the wash water after they have been removed.Antiredeposition agents are water-soluble and typically negatively charged.

Substances added to products to prevent the build-up of inorganic oxide deposits. The formation of scale can be caused by the deposition of salts or minerals and may not necessarily lead to surface corrosion, therefore these chemicals are not corrosion inhibitors. Substances prevent the build-up or removes limescale and fouling. These substances are also called ‘Descalers’.

Any substance that prevents or reduces the tendency of a material to accumulate a static charge or alters the electrical properties of materials by reducing their tendency to acquire an electrical charge.

A substance which serves to enhance evaporation or reduce film formation in order to prevent the formulation of streaks on a surface during cleaning.

Material designed only to fill up a space, prevent seepage of moisture or air, passage of liquid or gas. The spaces can be joints, gaps or cavities that occur between two substrates.

Substance that terminates the growth of a molecular chain and forms a new radical that can act as the initiator for a new chain.

A substance that has the ability to complex with inactivate metallic ions; used to remove ions from solutions and soils by forming a type of coordination complex so that the ions usual precipitation reactions are prevented; material that cleans oxide films from metals by stabilizing metal ions through complexing heterocyclic rings around each ion. They contain two or more electron donor atoms that can form coordinate bonds to a single metal atom. After the first such coordinate bond, each successive donor atom that binds creates a ring containing the metal atom; this cyclic structure is called a chelation complex or chelate.

Substance that depresses the temperature at which solids begin to separate from a liquid, at a temperature lower than that normally allowed.

Ingredients that decrease the minimum film-forming temperature (MFT) and, upon evaporation, yield a hard film. In polishes, the most common coalescing agent is glycol ether however, pyrrolidines and benzoates are also used.

Enables a reaction between two or more dissimilar polymers, allowing them to become more intimately mixed than before.

Material used to conduct electrical current.

Substance used to reduce or increase crystal growth.

Substance used to fluidize concentrated slurries to reduce their bulk viscosity or stickiness in processing or handling.

Chemical that is used to control foam; prevents foam from forming; breaks down any foam that does form; reduces foaming from proteins, gases, or nitrogenous materials. They reduce the tendency of finished products to generate foam on shaking or agitation. The ability of a material to act as an antifoam depends on its tendency to concentrate on the surface of existing or forming bubbles and to disrupt the continuous films of liquid surrounding them. As process aid, it improves filtration, dewatering, washing, and drainage of many types of suspensions, mixtures, and slurries.

Substance used to destroy an emulsion or prevent its formation.

Substance that modifies the density of a material.

Substance that reduces or eliminates unpleasant odour and protects against the formation of malodour on body surfaces. Counteraction, sometimes referred to as neutralization, occurs when two odorous substances are mixed in a given ratio and the resulting odour of the mixture is less intense than that of the separate components.

Substance that serves primarily to reduce the concentration of the other ingredients in a formulation; volatile liquid that is added to modify the consistency or other properties. The term is most often used for liquid formulations, with the term filler used for solid or powder formulations.

These substances, which speed the drying of paint, ink, etc., are often organometallic compounds.

Durability agents are ingredients added to increase the durability and therefore the functional life of a material.

Substance used to control finely grained solid particles to reduce their discharge into the air.

Substance that is dusted onto the surface of a material (e.g., rubber) to reduce surface tack.

Substance that increases the elasticity of a material.

Substance used for the preservation of biological tissue.

Substance characterized by chemical stability, but may be induced to undergo rapid chemical change without an outside source of oxygen, rapidly producing a large quantity of energy and gas accompanied by a large increase in volume and an explosion, bursting, or expansion.

Etching Agent is a substance that removes unprotected areas of metal or glass surfaces. Etching agents are usually acids or bases.

Substance used to reduce the explosion potential of flammable materials.

Chemical substance used to increase the productivity and quality of farm crops, including plants, animals, and forestry; added to soil to supply chemical elements needed for plant nutrition.

Ingredient added to fill out a dry product formulation and to lower the concentration of other ingredients; used to provide bulk, increase strength, increase hardness, or improve resistance to impact; used to extend a material and to reduce its cost by minimizing the amount of more expensive substances used in the production of articles; used to fill cavities or tighten joints; relatively inert and normally non-fibrous, finely divided substance added usually to extend volume and sometimes to improve desired properties, such as whiteness, consistency, lubricity, density or tensile strength.

Any component of a material that aids the material in forming a thin continuous sheet on its substrate. This sheet will act as a barrier between the environment and its substrate. Silicone is a good film- former in furniture polishes because of its ease of application, soil removal, and depth of glossiness. Polymers are the most commonly used film formers.

Any agent incorporated or applied to slow down combustion once started; Removes heat faster than it is released; separates the fuel and oxidizing agent; dilutes the vapour phase concentration of the fuel and oxidizing agent below what is needed for combustion.

A flocculating agent is a chemical or substance that facilitates flocculation of suspended solids in liquid. Flocculating agents are chemical additives, which, at relatively low levels compared to the weight of the solid phase, increase the degree of flocculation of a suspension. They act on a molecular level on the surfaces of the particles to reduce repulsive forces and increase attractive forces. The principal use of flocculating agents is to aid in making solid–liquid separations.

Substance used to concentrate and obtain minerals from ores.

Substance that reduces drag in fluids in motion and between a fluid and a conduit surface.

Substance used to promote the fusing of minerals or prevent oxide formation; for casting or joining materials.

Any substance that promotes or enhances formation of a lather or foam (i.e., a dispersion of a gas in a liquid or solid); used to form physically, by expansion of compressed gases or vaporization of liquid, or chemically, by decomposition evolving a gas, a foam or cellular structure in a plastic or rubber material.

Substance used in food or animal feedstuffs to produce or enhance taste or odour or nutritional value. Flavour compounds are molecules that stimulate the human taste chemical senses.

These synthetic resin emulsions or synthetic lattices enable paints, coatings, and other products to retain original consistency and to resist coagulation when exposed to freezing and thawing prior to application.

Materials used to enhance friction between two objects.

Chemical substance used to create mechanical or thermal energy through chemical reactions; used to evolve energy in a controlled combustion reaction.

Substances added to a fuel for the purpose of controlling the rate of reaction or limiting the production of undesirable combustion products; provide other benefits such as corrosion inhibition, lubrication, or detergency.

Substance that influences the formation or destruction of a gel.

Substance used to transmit or to remove heat from another material.

Humectant is a substance that is used to retard moisture loss from the product during use. This function is generally performed by hygroscopic materials. The efficacy of humectants depends to a large extent on the ambient relative humidity.

Liquid or gaseous chemical substances used for transmitting pressure and EP-additives. Transfer power in hydraulic machinery.

Substance that is used to emit electromagnetic radiation at high temperature.

Substances used to prevent or inhibit the flow of heat, electrical current, light, and the transmission of sound between two media. (acoustic, electrical, and thermal insulators).

Chemical substances consumed in a reaction in order to manufacture other chemical substances at an industrial processing facility.

Chemical substances, usually in the form of a solid matrix, that are used to selectively remove targeted ions from a solution. In ion exchange, ions of a given charge (either cations or anions) in a solution are adsorbed on a solid material (the ion exchanger) and are replaced by equivalent quantities of other ions of the same charge released by the solid.

Substance that, when added to a solvent, aids in the dissolution of a component of an insoluble solid mixture.

Substance introduced between two moving surfaces or adjacent solid surface to reduce the friction between them, improve efficiency, reduce wear, and reduce heat generation; enhance the lubricity of other substances. These lubricating films are designed to minimize contact between the rubbing surfaces and to shear easily so that the frictional force opposing the rubbing motion is low.

Substance that emits visible radiation upon absorption of energy in the form of photons, charged particles, or chemical change.

Substance added into materials in order to make them magnetic.

Substance usually containing carbon and of a low molecular weight and simple structure which is capable of conversion to polymers, synthetic resins, or elastomers by repetitive combination with itself or other similar molecules.

Substance that renders solutions opaque; reduces transparency or the ability of light to pass through solution; added to finished products to reduce their clear or transparent appearance.

Oxidizing agent is a substance that gains electrons during their reaction with a reducing agent. Oxidizing agents commonly contribute oxygen to other substances.

Maintains the desired pH range of a substance; used to alter, stabilize, or control the pH (hydrogen ion concentration).Substances used to alter or stabilize the hydrogen ion concentration (pH).

Chemical substance used for its ability to alter its physical or chemical structure through absorption of light, resulting in the emission of light, dissociation, discoloration, or other chemical reaction; used to create a permanent photographic image.

Lubricating oil and grease additive that prevents metal to metal contact at high temperatures or under heavy loads where severe sliding conditions exist. Functions by reacting with the sliding metal surfaces to form oil-insoluble surface films.

Chemical substance used to change the rate of a chemical reaction, start or stop the reaction, or otherwise influence the course of the reaction. May be consumed or become part of the reaction product.

Chemical substances used to improve the processing characteristics or the operation of process equipment or to alter or buffer the pH of the substance or mixture, when added to a process or to a substance or mixture to be processed. Processing agents do not become a part of the reaction product and are not intended to affect the function of a substance or article created.

Substance that is used for expelling products from pressurized containers (aerosol products); used to dissolve or suspend other substances and either to expel those substances from a container in the form of an aerosol or to impart a cellular structure to plastics, rubber, or thermo set resins; provides the force necessary to expel the contents of aerosol containers; liquefied or compressed gas within which substances are dissolved or suspended and expelled from a container upon discharge of the internal pressure through expansion of the gas. The formulated product in the pressurized container may be solution, emulsion, or suspension.

Substance that during reactions with oxidizing agents lose electrons; commonly contributes hydrogen to other substances; used to remove oxygen, hydrogenate or, in general, acts as electron donor in chemical reactions.

Substances used within machines such as air conditioning units, refrigerators, and walk in freezers to cool indoor air and reduce temperatures.

Usually high molecular weight polymers that lower viscosity. Thermoplastic resins soften when exposed to heat and return to original form at room temperature, and thermosetting resins solidify irreversibly when heated due to cross-linking.

Substance that has resistivity between that of insulators and metals; usually changeable by light, heat or electrical or magnetic field; generates electromotive force upon the incidence of radiant energy.

Chemical substances used to promote the separation of suspended solids from a liquid.

A chemical additive that prevents chemicals or materials from separating or falling out of solution. Solubility enhancers are often used in concentrated formulations.

Substance that may be added to other ingredients to adjust the optical properties associated with the surface of a material. These substances are designed to affect the luster, increase gloss, and alter the reflectance exhibited by a surface.

Substance added to a material to cause that material to increase in volume and become softer.

Provides stickiness.

Substance that reacts with the end of a growing polymer chain, stopping further polymerization (terminator) or a substance used to protect a reactive moiety on a precursor during organic synthesis of a product that is subsequently removed regenerating the reactive moiety (blocker).

Any of a variety of hydrophilic substances used to increase the viscosity of liquid mixtures and solutions and to aid in maintaining stability by their emulsifying properties.Four classifications are recognized: 1) Starches, gums, casein, gelatin and phycocolloids; 2) semisynthetic cellulose derivatives (e.g. carboxymethyl-cellulose); 3) polyvinyl alcohol and carboxy-vinylates (synthetic); and 4) bentonite, silicates, and colloidal silica.

Substance that possesses a readily detectable radioactive/isotopic label or chemical moiety which is added to biological/environmental media or chemical reactions to elucidate the transformation/transportation processes that are occurring.

Substance added to a liquid to modify its vapour pressure (e.g., to reduce evaporation).

The vehicle dissolves or disperses solid components of a substance, allowing even dispersion throughout application. The vehicle carries the other particles within a substance.

Substance used to alter the viscosity of another substance; used to decrease or increase the viscosity of finished products; used to modify the flow characteristics of other substances, or mixtures, to which they are added; controls the deformation or flow ability of a wax product. Resins generally lower viscosity while thickeners (e.g., gums and hydroxyethyl cellulose) increase viscosity.

A water repellent material functions by lowering the surface energy to protect surfaces against water by making water bead.

Substance use to block or attenuate X-rays.