Research published in Applied Polymer Materials describes how polyether alkyl urea derivatives, which serve as gelators in common cosmetic solvents, can produce different rheological effects depending on the solvent used.
In this work, the hydrophobic functionalization of polyetheramines was carried out to form urea-functionalized polyethers. The structures and molecular weights of the polyether backbone and length of the linker and side chain were varied for comparison. Test solvents included Labrafac cc, isopropyl myristate and isododecane.
Rheological analysis showed that gel properties were dependent upon the hydrophobicity of the alkyl end groups and type of polyether backbone. More specifically, in Labrafac cc, the gels formed defined structures from the fiber bundles. Those in isopropyl myristate produced clusters.
The authors concluded these effects hold potential for perfume and cosmetic applications.
See related: Supplier Roundtable, Hitting the Rheology Bullseye