Any hydrophilic material that increases the viscosity of a liquid. Thickening agents are used in food, paper, adhesives, textiles, paints, printing ink, and detergents. The main types of thickeners are (based on Lewis 1993):
- Natural products: Starch, Gum, Casein, Gelatin, Agar, etc.
- Synthetic cellulose derivatives: Carboxymethyl cellulose, etc.
- Polymers: Polyvinyl alcohol, polyacrylate, polyurethane, styrene/butadiene, acrylic polymers
- Inorganics: Clay, Bentonite, silicates, Fumed silica.
Synonyms and Related Terms
thickeners; rheology modifier; gelling agents;
Resources and Citations
- Wikipedia: Thickening agent Accessed June 2023
- G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p.294
- Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
- Tom Learner, A review of Synthetic Binding Media in Twentieth-Century Paints., The Conservator, Vol. 24, 2000
- Art and Architecture Thesaurus Online, http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabulary/aat/, J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, 2000 Comment: thickener = preferred term