Focus on Cellulose ethers

How does hydroxypropyl methylcellulose improve mortar?

Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) is an important chemical additive widely used in building materials, especially in mortar formulations. HPMC significantly improves the construction performance and final performance of mortar by adjusting its rheological properties, water retention, crack resistance and other characteristics.

(1) Basic properties of HPMC
HPMC is a non-ionic cellulose ether obtained by chemical modification of cellulose. It has the following important features:

Water retention: HPMC can significantly improve the water retention capacity of the material.
Thickening effect: HPMC can increase the viscosity of the material.
Lubricity: Helps improve the workability of the material.
Film-forming: Forming a thin film on the surface of the material to increase the durability of the material.

(2) The action mechanism of HPMC in mortar

1. Enhance water retention
The mortar needs to maintain a certain humidity during the construction process to ensure that the cement is fully hydrated. HPMC can adsorb water molecules through its polar molecular structure, thereby forming a network structure in the mortar, hindering the rapid evaporation and migration of water. This water retention is of great significance for reducing dry shrinkage cracks in mortar and improving the bonding strength between mortar and substrate.

2. Improve rheological properties
HPMC can significantly increase the viscosity of mortar, giving it good rheological properties. During the construction process, this helps to improve the workability and plasticity of the mortar, reduce bleeding and segregation, and ensure that the mortar surface after construction is smooth and flat. At the same time, the thickening effect of HPMC can provide good adhesion on the vertical construction surface and prevent the mortar from slipping.

3. Improve constructability
HPMC can provide excellent lubrication, making the mortar smoother during construction. This not only improves construction efficiency, but also reduces manual labor intensity. HPMC can also improve the thixotropy of the mortar, allowing it to maintain a high viscosity when stationary, facilitating vertical construction, and maintaining good fluidity when stirring or extruding.

4. Reduce dry shrinkage and cracks
The water retention effect of HPMC can extend the hydration time of the cement in the mortar, thereby reducing the dry shrinkage rate of the mortar and reducing cracks caused by dry shrinkage. In addition, the film-forming properties of HPMC can form a protective film during the hardening process of the mortar to reduce water loss and thereby prevent cracking on the mortar surface.

(3) HPMC improves the performance of different types of mortar

1. Ordinary mortar
Among ordinary mortars, HPMC ensures that the surface of the mortar is flat, smooth and well bonded to the base layer after construction by improving the water retention and fluidity. In addition, the function of HPMC also extends the operable time of the mortar, giving construction workers enough time to make adjustments and repairs.

2. Self-leveling mortar
Self-leveling mortar needs to have good fluidity and high viscosity to ensure automatic leveling during the construction process. HPMC enhances the flow properties of mortar through thickening and water retention, allowing it to spread quickly and smoothly during construction. At the same time, HPMC can improve the anti-bleeding performance of mortar, prevent water from migrating upward during the hardening process of mortar, and reduce the risk of surface blistering and cracks.

3. Insulation mortar
Insulation mortar requires good water retention and crack resistance to improve the bonding strength between the insulation layer and the base layer. The application of HPMC can effectively improve the workability of thermal insulation mortar, enhance its crack resistance, and ensure the long-term stability of thermal insulation materials.

(4) Application examples of HPMC in mortar

1. Tile bonding mortar
Tile bonding mortar needs to have good adhesion and construction performance. By enhancing the water retention and viscosity of the mortar, HPMC ensures that the mortar has sufficient adhesion during the construction process and reduces the possibility of tile hollowing and falling off.

2. Plastering mortar
Plastering mortar requires a smooth surface and strong adhesion. The thickening and water-retaining effects of HPMC enable the plastering mortar to be evenly spread on the vertical surface during construction, reducing sagging and cracking.

(5) How to use HPMC and precautions

1. Dosage
The dosage of HPMC is usually between 0.1% and 0.5% of the total weight of the mortar. If too much is used, the mortar will be too viscous and difficult to construct; if too little is used, it will not function as it should.

2. Combined with other additives
HPMC is often used together with other additives such as cellulose ether, rubber powder, etc. to obtain better overall performance.

3. Add order
HPMC should be mixed evenly with other dry powder materials during the mortar batching process, and then add water and stir. This method can ensure the uniform distribution of HPMC in the mortar and achieve the best effect.

Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) in mortar significantly improves the overall performance of mortar by enhancing water retention, improving rheological properties, improving workability, reducing dry shrinkage and cracks. As an important chemical additive, it not only meets the high performance requirements of modern building materials, but also promotes the advancement of mortar construction technology. In the future, with the continuous development of HPMC production technology and the expansion of application fields, its role in mortar and other building materials will become increasingly important.

Post time: Jun-17-2024
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