Influence of Viscosity and Fineness of Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose on Mortar Properties

According to statistics from China Chemical and Physical Power Supply Industry Association, China's export volume and export value of lithium-ion batteries have continued to increase. In 2021, China's exports of lithium-ion batteries were 3.428 billion, with a year-on-year growth of 54.34%. The export of lithium-ion batteries was 28.428 billion DOLLARS, up 78.34% year on year. 

From the battery export destination, so far. China's lithium-ion batteries are mainly exported to the Asia Pacific and the United States and other places. In terms of price, the price of HPMC, led by lithium-ion batteries, is expected to expand globally. 

Viscosity and fineness are important indicators that affect the performance of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose HPMC. Studies have shown that the water retention effect of HPMC increases with the increase of its viscosity, but after the viscosity exceeds 40000 MPa•s, the water retention increases limited with the increase of viscosity. The higher the viscosity, the larger the molecular weight of HPMC, and the corresponding decrease in solubility. It will not improve the water retention of mortar, but it will have a negative impact on strength and workability. Comprehensive consideration, it is more appropriate to use cellulose ether with a viscosity of 40000 MPa•s in the cement mortar.

As the HPMC particles gradually become finer, the water retention of the mortar is also improved to a certain extent. Fineness affects the solubility of HPMC. Coarse HPMC dissolves very slowly in water and should not be used in dry mix mortars. In dry-mix mortar, HPMC is dispersed between aggregates, fine fillers and cementitious materials such as cement, and only a fine enough powder can prevent it from caking when mixed with water. When HPMC is added with water to dissolve the agglomerates, it is difficult to re-disperse and dissolve. HPMC with coarse particle size is not only wasteful, but also reduces the local strength of the mortar. When such dry-mixed mortar is used in large-scale construction, the curing speed of the local mortar may be significantly reduced, which may cause uneven hydration of the cementitious material. of cracking. For mechanically constructed spray mortars, due to the shorter mixing time, the requirements for the fineness of HPMC are higher. Therefore, after comprehensive consideration, the particle size of cellulose ether used for cement mortar should be less than 80 μm.

It can be seen that HPMC is a high-efficiency water-retaining agent for dry-mixed mortar, which reduces the bleeding rate and stratification of the mortar, and improves the cohesion and sag resistance of the mortar. Although HPMC slightly reduces the flexural and compressive strength of mortar, it can significantly improve the tensile strength and bond strength of mortar. In addition, HPMC can effectively inhibit the formation of mortar plastic cracks and reduce the mortar plastic cracking index. The water retention of mortar increases with the increase of HPMC viscosity, and when the viscosity exceeds 40000MPa•s, the water retention does not increase significantly. The fineness of HPMC also has a certain influence on the water retention rate of the mortar. When the particles are finer, the water retention rate of the mortar increases. The particle size of HPMC usually used for cement mortar should be less than 80μm.

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Due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the covid-19 pandemic, how will the international situation develop is highly uncertain. It is too difficult to assess its economic impact properly. However, we could see energy prices and commodity prices keep rising and supply chains are disrupted. Therefore, HPMC prices are expected to rise in the future.

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