Product Focus: Dioctyl Maleate

Dioctyl Maleate (DOM) is a maleic acid that can act as a plasticizer and is used in resins to provide elasticity and flexibility. Dioctyl Maleate is a co-monomer which can be polymerized with vinyl acetate, vinyl chloride (PVC), acrylates as well as stearates. These types of polymerizations with dioctyl maleate can be used in the production of adhesives, emulsion paints, surfactants, textile coatings and wetting agents. In particular, DOM is used as a chemical intermediate production of the surfactant sodium dioctyl sulfosuccinate, which is a used as a wetting agent for detergent applications.

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Product Feature: Diisononyl Phthalate (DINP)

Diisononyl Phthalate (DINP) is a preferred choice PVC plasticizer for large-volume general use applications by balancing cost savings with good processablity. DINP is highly compatible and can be used with many secondary plasticizers to maximize cost effectiveness. It is often used as a substitute for Dioctyl Phthalate (DOP) and shows lower volatility than DOP. DINP also shows good permanence and resistance to aging, extraction by oils, water and most cleaning products. It is suited for a variety of flexible PVC plastisol, extruded and molded parts applications including coated fabrics, sheet products, tubing, gasketing, and wire insulation and jacketing. It is attractive for wire and cable applications due to its good dielectric properties and it can be stabilized for this use. DINP is compatible with PVC and its copolymers, acrylic, chlorinated polyethylene, nitrile, polyvinylidene chloride, rubber compounds, and urethane. In addition, DINP has also been shown to be safe for use in a variety of applications and meets many regulatory standards such as REACH readiness. DINP also meets FDA regulation CFR 21, Part 178, section 3740, for plasticizers for polymeric substances used in contact with food.

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Product Focus: Denatonium Benzoate

Denatonium Benzoate is a common bittering agent used in a variety of products such as antifreeze, windshield washer fluid , perfume, nail polish, paints, disinfectants, cleaning fluids, rubbing alcohol, paints, varnishes, solvents, and pesticides. In fact, it is considered the most bitter tasting chemical compound known. Since 1995 many states have passed legislation requiring the addition of a bittering agent such as Denatonium Benzoate to antifreeze (which is naturally sweet) in order to deter poisonings. These states include Arizona, California, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin. In addition to those states, many others are considering passing such laws.

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Formulation 101: Wire and Cable Insulation and Jacket PVC Compounds

Electrical CablesPVC is often used for electrical cable jacketing due to its excellent electrical insulating properties and dielectric constant.  PVC is commonly used in low voltage cable (up to 10 KV), telecommunication lines, and electrical wiring.

Basic formulation for the production of PVC insulation and jacket compounds for wire and cable is generally composed of the following:

  1. PVC
  2. Plasticizer
  3. Filler
  4. Pigment
  5. Stabilizers and co-stabilizers
  6. Lubricants
  7. Additives (flame retardants, UV-absorbers, etc.)

Plasticizer Selection

Plasticizers are always added to wire & cable insulation and jacket compounds to increase flexibility and decrease brittleness.  It is important that the plasticizer used have a high compatibility with PVC, low volatility, good aging properties, and be electrolyte-free.   Beyond these requirements, plasticizers are selected with the requirements of the finished product in mind.  For example, a product intended for long-term outdoor use might require a plasticizer with better weathering properties than one would choose for an indoor use only product.

General purpose phthalate esters such as DOP, DINP, and DIDP are often used as primary plasticizers in wire and cable formulations due to their broad area of use, good mechanical properties, and good electrical properties.   TOTM is considered more suitable for high temperature compounds due to its lower volatility.  PVC compounds intended for low temperature use might do better with plasticizers such as DOA or DOS which retain low temperature flexibility better.  Epoxidized Soybean Oil (ESO) is often used as a co-plasticizer and stabilizer, since it adds a synergistic improvement of thermal and photo-stability when combined with Ca/Zn or Ba/Zn stabilizers.

Plasticizers in the wire and cable industry are often stabilized with a phenolic antioxidant in order to improve aging properties.  Bisphenol A is a common stabilizer used in a range of 0.3 – 0.5% for this purpose.

Commonly Used Fillers

Fillers are used in wire & cable formulations to reduce the price of the compound while improving electrical or physical properties.  Fillers can positively affect heat transfer and thermal conductivity.  Calcium Carbonate is the most common filler for this purpose.  Silicas are also sometimes used.

Pigments in Wire and Cable

Pigments are of course added to provide distinguishing color to compounds.  Titanium Dioxide is the most commonly used color carrier.


Lubricants for wire and cable can be either external or internal, and are used to aid in the reduction of the PVC sticking on the hot metal surfaces of the processing equipment.  Plasticizers themselves can act as an internal lubricant, as well as Calcium Stearate.  Fatty alcohols, waxes, paraffin and PEGs are can be used for additional lubrication.

Common Additives in Wire & Cable

Additives are used to impart special properties required for the end use of the product, for example, flame retardancy or resistance to weathering by the sun or by microbes.  Flame retardancy is a common requirement for wire and cable formulations.  Additives such as Antimony Trioxide (ATO) are effective flame retardants.   Plasticizers used such as phosphoric esters (i.e. TBP, TOF) can also impart flame retardant properties.   UV-absorbers may be added for exterior use applications to prevent weathering by the sun.  Carbon Black is effective at protection against light, but only if you are making a black or dark colored compound.  For brightly colored or transparent compounds, UV-Absorbers based on Benzotriazole or Benzophenone can be used.  Biocides are added to protect PVC compounds from degradation by fungus and microorganisms.  OBPA (10′,10′-0xybisphenoazine) is frequently used for this purpose and can be purchased already dissolved in plasticizer.

Example Formulation

Below is an example of a very basic starting point for a PVC wire coating formulation:

Formulation PHR
PVC 100
Ca/Zn or Ba/Zn Stabilizer 5
Plasticizers (DOP, DINP, DIDP) 20 – 50
Calcium Carbonate 40- 75
Titanium Dioxide 3
Antimony Trioxide 3
Antioxidant 1


Product Focus: Dibutyl Sebacate

Dibutyl Sebacate (DBS), an ester of the castor-derived sebacic acid, is commonly used as a plasticizer in many different plastics including cellulose based plastics, PVC, and synthetic rubber. DBS is approved for plastics used in the food packaging industry, plastics used for medical devices, as well as for pharmaceutical applications. In addition, DBS finds use in lubricant, personal care, and even flavoring applications. ChemCeed stocks this product in its traditional liquid form and also in a specially produced powder form.  Please inquire with us to receive a quote.

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Product Focus: Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)

Di-n-butyl Phthalate (DBP), more commonly known as Dibutyl Phthalate, is a specialist plasticizer. It is used mainly as a plasticizer in resins and a polymer in PVC, but it is also used in adhesives, printing inks, sealants/ grouting agents, nitrocellulose paints, film coatings, and cosmetics. Dibutyl Phthalate is known to provide excellent flexibility at low temperatures and it has a broad range of compatibility with modifying resins. ChemCeed can offer this material in drums, totes, or bulk quantities. Please contact us today if you have an interest in this product.

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Coconut and Palm Fatty Acids – Their Chemistry and Function

Fatty acids derived from coconut and palm sources continue to gain popularity due to the appeal of their plant-based renewable feedstocks and the wide range of applications they can be used for.  Many customers considering the use of these products are curious about their origins, production, and chemistry.

The world’s largest producers of palm and coconut-based oils and fatty acids are found in tropical areas such as the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia.  Oil and fatty acids can be extracted from either palm or coconut sources.  Palm oil is extracted from the pulp of palm fruit, whereas coconut oil is extracted from the kernel or meat of coconuts.

The unrefined oil is a mixture of many different fatty acids and triglycerides varying in carbon chain lengths usually ranging from 6 carbons to 18 carbons.  The oil can be fractionated using a steam process to produce relatively pure cuts of particular fatty acids and triglycerides.

Below is a list of common commercially available cuts of palm and coconut oils and the differences between them:

Caprylic Acid

Caprylic Acid is an 8-carbon chain length saturated fatty acid.  The percentage of Caprylic acid is slightly higher in coconut oil in comparison to palm kernel oil.  It is commonly used in the production of esters in the lubricant industry.  It can also be used as a food contact surface sanitizer due to its biocide properties.  Caprylic has a strong rancid-like odor and a bitter soapy taste.  Its melting point is 16.7 °C (62.1 °F), so it often a waxy solid during winter months.

Capric Acid

Caprylic Acid is an 6-carbon chain length saturated fatty acid.  Like Caprylic, Capric acid is slightly higher in coconut oil in comparison to palm kernel oil.  It uses are similar to that of Caprylic acid, with a similar odor.  Due to their similar carbon chain lengths, the two acids are often sold in a Capric-Caprylic mixture commercially.

Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)

MCTs are triglycerides, as opposed to Caprylic and Capric which are single chain fatty acids.  Triglycerides are composed of a glycerol backbone and three fatty acid chains.  The fatty acid chains from coconut or palm sources are often Caprylic or Capric in nature.  MCT oil is liquid at room temperature.  In recent times, MCTs have gained popularity as a dietary supplement, especially for endurance athletes and bodybuilders.

Product Feature: Citric Acid

Citric acid is a weak organic acid which is used primarily as a natural preservative and to add an acidic or sour taste to foods and beverages. Citric acid is naturally found in citrus fruit juices as well as the juices of other fruits and vegetables. It is isolated into its crystalline form using a precipitation process involving lime (calcium hydroxide). Along with its applications in the food industry, citric acid is used as a chelating agent in detergents to allow them to foam better in hard water. ChemCeed has this product available in bags, and we carry USP kosher grades.  Please contact a sales representative for details.

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Product Focus: Caustic Soda

Sodium Hydroxide, also known as Caustic Soda, is used in many industries, mostly as a strong chemical base in the manufacture of pulp and paper, textiles, drinking water, soaps and detergents and as a drain cleaner. The pulp and paper industry use caustic soda in the pulping and bleaching process as well as de-inking and water treatment at pulp mills. Caustic Soda is also used in petroleum production and refining, alumina extraction, and the production of rayon and cellophane, soap, and textiles. ChemCeed offers this product in a variety of packaging options from drums and totes up to rail-car quantities. Please contact a sales representative for details. 

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Product Focus: Castor Oil

Castor Oil is derived from the castor seed, a major natural and renewable feedstock for our line of castor derivative products. Castor beans grow best in hot, dry climates with sandy soil such as India or Brazil. The seed makes up about 65-85% of the bean, and from it the oil is extracted. Castor oil content can range from 35-52% depending on variety and growing conditions.  It finds applications in everything from soap to polymers to lubricants. From castor oil many products in our line such as 12-Hydroxy Stearic Acid, Sebacic Acid, Disodium Sebacate, Dimethyl Sebacate and Dioctyl Sebacate are derived.  These products are commonly used for complexed greases in the lubricant industry.

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