Product Spotlight: PIB

Friday, April 22nd, 2022

Have you ever wondered what paint, adhesives, caulks, sealants, cling film, lipstick and chewing gum all have in common? Probably not, but now you might be giving this question a ponder.


The Soltex team is here to inform you that each of those items has a common chemical in their compounding, i.e., some form of polybutene. Polybutenes provide “tack” to films and other products requiring cling to substrate. Their tackiness vastly contributes to their wide array of applications. Each day you encounter and probably use products with polybutenes.


Polybutenes are synthetic hydrocarbon polymers made by polymerization of C4 olefins. They are available in a wide range of viscosities which contributes to their versatility in use significantly. With control of polymerization conditions, polymer chains of different lengths are manufactured giving a wide range of polybutene grades having different physical properties.The different physical properties come from various chain lengths. Short chain-length polybutenes are free-flowing, medium chain-length polybutenes are sticky with a honey-like consistency, and those with the longest chain length are extremely tacky, nearly solid materials.


Soltex has the aforementioned broad range of polybutenes from low to heavy molecular weight/viscosities. Polybutenes are also available in packaged or bulk quantities, allowing for consumers with varying uses in application to partner with us. With superior customer service and product expertise, we work closely with our partners who source polybutenes from us to ensure their needs are met from inquiry to end use.


Other noteworthy attributes about this surprisingly versatile chemical include its ability to decompose cleanly.  Polybutenes are synthetic, have good oxidative and thermal stability, carry NSF, Kosher and Halal approvals to meet your formulation requirements.  Low to medium molecular weight polybutenes are commonly used in cling films, paints, adhesives, caulks, sealants, lubricant, and cosmetic applications while higher molecular weights are used in grease, cable compounds and chewing gums. The next time you pick out a new paint color for your home, pop in a piece of chewing gum or apply lipstick, give a quick internal nod to the chemical making such everyday things possible.