A surface-active agent (surfactant) used to stabilize a mixture of immiscible or insoluble materials. A uniform mixture of two immiscible liquids is called an emulsion, while the mixture of an insoluble solid in a liquid is called a suspension or dispersion. Emulsifiers surround and separate the dispersed medium, thus keeping them from uniting into large drops or particles and separating. Examples of emulsifiers are soap, gelatin, gum, starch, albumin, long chain alcohols, and sulfonated oils.
Synonyms and Related Terms
surface active agent; surfactant; wetting agent; detergent; colloid; emulsifying agents
Sources Checked for Data in Record
- G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971
- Richard C. Wolbers, Nanette T. Sterman, Chris Stavroudis, Notes for Workshop on New Methods in the Cleaning of Paintings, J.Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, 1990
- The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
- Art and Architecture Thesaurus Online, http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabulary/aat/, J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, 2000