What Are Plasticizers?

Editor:Jinli Chemical │ Release Time:2023-11-10 

Plasticizers are a type of chemical additive. They are low-volatile powdery substances or solid liquids that are added to materials such as plastics or rubber to make them softer, more flexible, and easier to mold and shape. Plasticizers enhance the mobility of polymers, making them more malleable. Therefore, plasticizers are essential in the manufacturing of plastic products.

Without plasticizers, materials would become rigid and difficult to shape.

What are the categories of plasticizers?


So far, plasticizers are primarily divided into four categories: phthalates, adipates, phosphates, and fatty acid esters. There are over 30,000 substances that can be used as polymer plasticizers, but only around 50 are approved for use.

Now, let's discuss the applications of these four types of plasticizers:

  • - Phthalates: Used to improve the flexibility of plastics.

  • - Adipates: Used for PVC molding at lower temperatures.

  • - Phosphates: Used in the production of flame-retardant materials.

  • - Fatty acid esters: Added to rubber and vinyl to enhance flexibility.


Applications of plasticizers:

Plasticizers are commonly used in PVC, a versatile plastic that finds applications in the manufacturing of plastic fixtures, components, electronic product casings, water pipes, and drainage pipes. PVC is known for its rigidity and certain level of hardness. Plasticizers are also used in the production of rubber products, cable sheathing, and hoses.

Are plasticizers safe?

Plasticizers have undergone comprehensive chemical assessments, authorizations, and registration restrictions by some of the world's strictest safety regulatory agencies. It has been determined that nearly all plasticizers, including those approved by the FDA, are safe for use.