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Application Note - Shampoo and surfactant solutions: Shear and extensional viscosity

Shampoos, cosmetic products used to wash the scalp and hair, contain anionic surfactants (up to 40 wt.%) as the primary cleansing agents, as well as polymers (up to 2 wt.%) and NaCl (up to 2.5 wt.%) as rheological modifiers. The shear and extensional viscosity of shampoo products predicts their flow behavior, perceived “thickness”, foamability, and storage stability.  Higher viscosities are preferred for low- or no-shear rate situations, like long-term storage stability and holding shampoo in palm of hand before applying it to scalp and hair. Lower viscosities are beneficial for higher shear rate applications, including lathering, squeezing onto palm of hand, and flow in a nozzle in the industrial container filling process.

In this application note, we measure steady shear viscosity and the  extensional viscosity on surfactant and shampoo solutions. The goal is to use viscosity measurements to inform on how to improve shampoo formulations for household and industrial container-filling applications.

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shampoo filling conveyor

 

 

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