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

As the European Union tries to reduce its dependence on Russian energy, the Russian president recently said Russia would try to shift its energy exports to the east, adding that there was no way for European countries to give up Russian gas immediately.

Russia supplies about 40 percent of the EU's gas, and western sanctions imposed over the conflict with Ukraine have complicated financing and logistical arrangements for existing agreements, hitting Russian energy exports, the report noted.  

Russia has been building closer ties with China and other Asian countries as the European Union debates whether to impose sanctions on Russian gas and oil and member states seek supplies from elsewhere, Reuters said.  

"So-called partners from unfriendly countries admit that they cannot survive without Russian energy, including gas," the Russian president said in a televised government meeting. There is no reasonable alternative to Russian gas in Europe right now."  

He also said Europe was driving up energy prices and destabilizing markets by talking about cutting off Russia's energy supplies. Russia, which produces about a tenth of the world's oil and a fifth of its natural gas, will need new infrastructure to increase energy supplies to Asia, he said.

He ordered Moscow to submit a plan by June 1, including "the expansion of transport infrastructure to countries in Africa, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region".  

He also sought to clarify the possibility of integrating two pipelines -- the Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok gas pipeline in the Far East and the "Power of Siberia" gas pipeline to China -- into Russia's unified gas supply system. In theory, connecting these routes to larger gas networks could allow Russia to divert gas from Europe to Asia.

Because of the ever-changing international situation, the supply and prices of international bulk HPMC are still very uncertain.

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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The HPMC industry has experienced demand expectations driven by the rise and the off-season tired stock driven by the seasonal decline in two rounds of the market. Affected by the COVID-19 epidemic and other factors, inventories of manufacturers continue to accumulate, putting pressure on market sentiment. In addition to off-season factors, the weak trend of HPMC also reflects the market's concern about the epidemic and some other related enterprises' financial situation. 

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