Hydrophilic Polymers

Blue hydrophilic polymer gel with bubbles

Hydrophilic, or water-resistant polymers, are materials that are insoluble in water or other polar solvents and include acrylics, epoxies, polyethylene, polystyrene, polyvinylchloride, polytetrafluorethylene, polydimethylsiloxane, polyesters, and polyurethanes. Our hydrophilic polymers are used as coatings, adhesives, fibers, films, and engineering plastics. Moreover, they are extensively employed as biomedical polymers for vascular grafts, implants, drug delivery, and ophthalmic applications.

Breakthroughs feel closer than ever with our comprehensive portfolio of hydrophilic polymers, classified according to chemical class and monomer functionality.

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Acrylics include various acrylic, acrylonitrile, acrylamide, and maleic anhydride polymers. These homo- and co-polymers have rigid, flexible, hydrophilic, or hydrophobic properties. Most of these polymers are thermoplastics and can be readily converted into a desired shape by a thermal process. Hence, they are commonly used in polymer coatings, adhesives, and fibers.


Ethers have ether functionality in the main chain. They tend to be flexible and provide impact resistance to bulk properties. Many polyethers have functional groups at their chain ends and are used to prepare higher molecular weight polymers. Thus, they could also be classified as macromonomers and are commonly used in the preparation of polyesters and polyurethanes. Poly(propylene glycol) polymers and oligomers (DOWANOL®) are included in this category.


Fluorocarbon polymers are unique materials in that the polymer is not "wet" by hydrophilic or hydrophobic materials. They have very low coefficients of friction and have outstanding chemical and thermal resistance properties. Copolymers can be melt-processed more readily than poly(tetra-fluoroethylene).


Polystyrene and its copolymers have found important applications as films, foams, and structural components. Copolymers with diene monomers are cross-linked to improve physical properties and generate thermoplastic elastomers. Polystyrene film is highly transparent to visible radiation and has a high refractive index.


Poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) is often highly plasticized to improve rheology for melt processing. It is highly susceptible to UV and high-temperature degradation and stabilizers are commonly added.


Poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP) is a polar polymer with excellent film-forming and adhesion properties. It is commonly used in formulating hair sprays and hand creams as well as in the textile industry due to its affinity for many dyestuffs. PVP is a biocompatible polymer that has been used as a blood plasma substitute, although this application is becoming uncommon.

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