Time delay hardener/ thickener for clay, sugar syrup, water and zinc sulphate paste.

sammossammos Member
edited July 2014 in Formulating
Hi All,
I have a product that is very difficult to get right, it wants to have the consistency of a thick, sticky clay to be spread on and stick to hard surfaces.
It has a very fine line between being far too sloppy (not setting at all) and setting absolutely rock solid, it also really needs to be thin and pourable when initially mixed and set to the desired consistency to allow it to be poured into pots fairly easily.
Recently I have tried Xanthan Gum and this had the desired result of hardening/ thickening as the solution cooled but the finished consistency was all together too, well... gummy! It was more keen to stick to itself than anything else.
Anyone have any bright ideas... I wondered about something along the lines of plaster of Paris. Is there anything obvious that I am missing?
Any help appreciated!


  • MakingSkincareMakingSkincare Member, Professional formulator
    It's hard to troubleshoot without the full formula in %
    Jane Barber
    www.learncosmeticformulation.com (free online course)
    Formulation discussion forum (18,000 members): www.facebook.com/groups/makingskincare/
  • Sam, I guess you may try some of the Lubrizol's Avalure family of products.
  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    Sammos, you mention clay.  If this is only kaolin, then you want to have bentonite or laponite in there also; for thixotropy, then sitting still when not under shear stress so it will set up.  Both work well with xanthan too.
  • Now there is a new word for me chemicalmatt: thixotropic... interesting because where I say 'sugar syrup' I actually mean honey which on researching i discover can also have a thixotrophic nature (and presumably an unreliable one as it is a natural ingredient) I think this may be tricky,,,
    Alas Xanthan does not seem to work well with the end cosistency.
    I need something I can add to make the end product more reliable in it's consistency, as the clays and honeys used in it are unlikely to be 100% reliable. I will double check with my clay supplier what I am using, maybe I need to seek a supplier that it supplying a more pure form as the honey is out of my hands.
    Cheers! Will post formula if I am feeling brave MakingSkincare!

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