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Hydrophilic lipophile balance (HLB) is the balance of the size and strength of the hydrophilic and lipophilic moieties of a surfactant molecule. The HLB scale of non-ionic surfactants ranges from 0 to 20. The HLB value can be used to predict the surfactant properties of a molecule (see Fig. 1). Lower HLB values are an indication of high oil affinity. High HLB values, on the other hand, indicate high water-solubility.
Fig. 1 HLB scale
There are several ways to calculate the HLB, Griffin's method, Davies' method and estimation method.
Griffin's method for non-ionic surfactants as described in 1954 works as follows:
Fig. 1 HLB scale
where Mh is the molecular mass of the hydrophilic portion of the molecule, and M is the molecular mass of the whole molecule, giving a result on a scale of 0 to 20. An HLB value of 0 corresponds to a completely lipophilic/hydrophobic molecule, and a value of 20 corresponds to a completely hydrophilic/lipophobic molecule.
In the Davies method, the computation is based upon different group numbers that are assigned to hydrophilic or lipophilic structural groups in a molecule. The following equation is used in the calculation:
HLB = 7 + Σ(hydrophilic group numbers) + Σ(lipophilic group numbers)
The following equation is used to calculate the total HLB of a mixture of components:
Enter the % proportion of the component and its HLB value
Chemists from Alfa Chemistry have a great deal of experience in the tests of chemicals. Our experienced chemists are pleased to work with you to solve your problems in scientific research and industrial applications. If you have any problems in calculating HLB, please feel free to contact us for help.