Another use for Xanthan Gum

BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
At the moment I am redecorating my house and today I needed to fix a nasty crack that had opened up. So, using the hammer drill as a router, I opened it up and cleaned it out to about 1 inch wide. Vacuumed it and then sprayed it with water to pre-moisten the existing concrete.
Now, we all know what usually happens. You fill it with sand and cement mix, it dries too fast because the surrounding material absorbs the water, and as it dries it cracks. :(
I wondered ... is there anything in the lab I might use to improve the cement mix? So I went for a mooch.
I decided to add a small amount of Xanthan gum to the dry mix, and mix it in really well. Then I added some washing-up liquid. Proceeded as usual, the more I mixed it the more plastic-like it became. It resisted the water-loss problem just fine, was usable much longer, and the cracking problem was almost entirely eliminated. Hooray for gums!
Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.

Comments

  • Chemist77Chemist77 Member, PCF student
    @Belassi Thank you for sharing such gems every now and then, helps bring in new thought process for people like me slogging in labs. 
  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    Cool move, Belassi. They say "necessity is the mother of invention."  Maybe throw some BIT (aka Kathon) in there next time and make it "mold-resistant" concrete crack filler?  I smell a patent here for you. 
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Thanks, I should market it as an additive!
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    edited May 2017
    on a similar subject, I found the Methocel and Ethocel technical handbooks from Dow quite fascinating, simply because they list a huge variety of applications for those products, of which cosmetics and pharmaceuticals comprise but a small part
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Further to my last. For those with an interest in construction chemistry. (I worked in the cement industry for 2 years . . .) 

    Super-plastic anti-cracking cement mortar.

    1 part fine portland cement
    4 parts fine sand
    1 part nepheline syenate 100 micron
    1 dash of Fairy Liquid
    Approx. 0.02 to 0.1% Xanthan gum, Q/S desired setting time. (The more gum, the longer the setting time. Max setting time is > 24hr)

    Mix dry components well, mix Fairy into water, add water in usual fashion and with continued working, you get a very plastic non-sagging mortar that sets slowly giving maximum bond and strength and resists shrink cracks.

    nepheline syenate is an inert mineral used for glazing pottery amongst other things. Any inert 100 micron material could be used.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
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