+86 18832128285

+86 151 3018 1309


Home > Media>News>What is the Viscosity of Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose (HPMC)?

What is the Viscosity of Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose (HPMC)?

Mar. 29, 2024

Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose (HPMC) is a versatile polymer widely used in various industries for its thickening, stabilizing, and film-forming properties. Understanding the viscosity of HPMC is essential for determining its suitability in different applications, ranging from pharmaceuticals and personal care products to construction materials. This article explores the viscosity of HPMC and its significance across diverse industries.

Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose (HPMC)

Viscosity: A Key Property of HPMC

Viscosity refers to the resistance of a fluid to flow, and it is a crucial property of hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose (HPMC). As a thickening agent, HPMC imparts viscosity to solutions or dispersions in which it is incorporated. The viscosity of HPMC solutions is influenced by various factors, including the concentration of HPMC, molecular weight, degree of substitution, and environmental conditions such as temperature and pH.

Factors Influencing HPMC Viscosity

Concentration of HPMC: The viscosity of HPMC solutions typically increases with higher concentrations of the polymer. As more HPMC molecules are dispersed in the solution, they create a network structure that impedes the flow of the solvent, resulting in higher viscosity.

Molecular Weight: The molecular weight of HPMC affects its viscosity profile, with higher molecular weight grades generally yielding solutions with higher viscosity. Longer polymer chains exhibit greater entanglement and resistance to flow, leading to increased viscosity.

Degree of Substitution: Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose (HPMC) can have varying degrees of substitution, indicating the extent to which hydroxypropyl and methyl groups are attached to the cellulose backbone. Higher degrees of substitution typically result in higher viscosity due to increased steric hindrance and interactions between polymer chains.

Temperature: The viscosity of HPMC solutions is also influenced by temperature, with higher temperatures generally leading to lower viscosity. As temperature increases, the mobility of polymer chains and solvent molecules increases, reducing the resistance to flow and thus lowering viscosity.

Applications of HPMC Viscosity

Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products: In pharmaceutical formulations, HPMC is commonly used as a thickening agent in oral suspensions, topical creams, and ophthalmic solutions. The viscosity of HPMC helps to suspend active ingredients evenly, improve product stability, and enhance the user experience. In personal care products such as shampoos, lotions, and gels, HPMC provides texture, viscosity, and rheological control.

Construction Materials: In the construction industry, HPMC is utilized in various applications, including tile adhesives, cement-based renders, and gypsum-based products. The viscosity of HPMC influences the workability, sag resistance, and bonding properties of these materials. By adjusting the viscosity of HPMC formulations, builders and contractors can achieve desired flow characteristics, adhesion to substrates, and mechanical strength in construction applications.

Measuring HPMC Viscosity

The viscosity of HPMC solutions can be measured using various techniques, including rotational viscometry, capillary viscometry, and rheological analysis. Rotational viscometers are commonly used instruments that measure the torque required to rotate a spindle immersed in the HPMC solution, providing viscosity data as a function of shear rate.


The viscosity of Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose (HPMC) is a critical parameter that influences its performance and suitability in various applications across industries. By understanding the factors affecting HPMC viscosity and its significance in different contexts, manufacturers and formulators can optimize formulations to meet specific requirements and achieve desired product characteristics.

For more information on HPMC viscosity or to inquire about suppliers of HPMC products, please don't hesitate to contact us.