Carboxy Methyl Cellulose (CMC)

Carboxymethylcellulose are compounds (polymers) that are easily dissolved in water and completely dispersed in it. These water-based polymers are used as a multipurpose additive in various industries, due to their efficiency in water retention, suspension and stabilization of suspended particles, and rheology regulation.

Chemical structure of carboxymethylcellulose or CMC

Carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) or cellulose gum[1] is a cellulose derivative with carboxymethyl groups (-CH2-COOH) bound to some of the hydroxyl groups of the glucopyranose monomers that make up the cellulose backbone.

ساختار شیمیایی کربوکسی متیل سلولز
Chemical structure of carboxymethylcellulose

Physical and chemical properties

Carboxymethylcellulose is a derivative of cellulose. In this substance, called CMC for short, carboxymethyl groups are attached to some of the hydroxyl groups of cellulose monomers, namely glucopyranoses. Glucose, which is found in cellulose in the form of glucopyranose, forms the backbone of this polymer. It is commonly used in the form of its sodium salt, sodium carboxymethylcellulose.

Carboxymethylcellulose and its application in various industries

Ceramic tile industry

It is used in the ceramic tile industry as a polishing stabilizer, retaining and absorbing water, forming a layer, thickening and improving the strength of the molded part. This material is effective in the formation and adhesion between glaze and porcelain, refractory mortar, as well as the beauty and radiance of the final product. The use of this material makes the products without any cracks and bubbles and as a result, they are produced in a more beautiful way. The use of this material also increases the adhesion strength and makes it easy to form and increases the strength of the product by 2 or 3 times. The addition of this material also improves the dispersion power of the glaze.

Paint and resin industry

Carboxymethylcellulose can be used as a viscosity control agent in emulsion and latex paints, suspension stabilizer and colloidal particle stabilizer. The presence of this substance in the paint causes lubrication and thus improves the movement of the brush. Another application of this material is its use in soluble paints as a material to fill pores in porous surfaces such as gypsum wall surfaces.

CMC has two effects in the printing industry, especially in lithographic printing due to its chemical properties. A) Creating a uniform film on different surfaces acts as a hydrophilic protective agent on printed surfaces

  1. B) Due to the hydrophilic nature of carboxymethylcellulose or CMC, it can be used in water-based inks as a thickener and thickener.

In general, this material is a good volumizing agent for fillers in the paint industry, water retainer and absorber, layer forming, particle suspension, paint retainer, thickener, stabilizer and uniformizer, which is why today in the paint and resin industry Is used.

Textile industry

The properties and characteristics of carboxymethylcellulose have led to its use in the textile industry. These special properties include: the ability to coordinate warp and weft, water retention and absorption, concentration in printing pastes on textiles, raw material in various fabric finishing processes, creating good adhesion to fibers and creating strength and resistance Worn out pointed. Perhaps the most common and a

The most common use of this material in the textile industry is to use it as a suture to tighten and strengthen parts of the fabric, such as men’s collars and shirts.

By using carboxymethylcellulose or CMC in the structure of fabrics made of cotton and linen fibers, these garments can be lightened in weight and prevented from deteriorating. This material is used as a raw material during the printing process (especially silk screen printing), especially on silk fabrics.

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Paper and cardboard industry

This material is used in the paper making process in three parts. The first part is the direct use of this material in paper formulations, which increases the wear resistance, tensile strength, paper hardness, surface uniformity and anti-brittleness.


The second part is the use of carboxymethylcellulose or CMC for the paper surface. In this case, this material forms an adhesive layer, increases the surface strength against abrasion, improves the physical properties of the surface, surface polishing, paper resistance to organic matter and improves the surface flexibility against corrosion. CMC is also used in the manufacture of corrugated board as a viscosity control agent, stabilizer for starch pastes, or as an adhesive.


The third part also includes the use of this material in coatings, which are used to improve the properties of paper.

Detergents and soaps industry

One of the unique features of CMC is that it has maximum power to dissolve dirt and grease and adding a small amount of it to detergents causes the separated dirt to remain suspended. CMC fills the space between the fabric and the fabric and does not allow dirt to settle on the edge and prevents the so-called dead dirt. Most importantly, CMC can concentrate a soap or solution emulsion, stabilize its structure, suspend particles and dirt, and not damage the skin.

Drilling oil wells

This material acts as an important factor in improving the quality of drilling mud. CMC oil drilling grade is used in geological tissues crushing fluid, drilling fluid and well drilling cement, as a factor controlling the amount of drilling fluid loss and adhesive of various materials in drilling mud. In fact, the presence of CMC in the drilling mud formulation protects the main drilling shaft and prevents the mud from wasting itself, thus increasing the drilling efficiency.

The high viscosity type is used to create concentration and the low viscosity type is used as a factor in reducing the filtration waste of the oil drilling solution. In general, this material has applications such as: lubrication, liquid loss control, water absorption and storage in drilling mud mixture, well wall sealing and a type of adhesive to stabilize well wall soil in the oil industry (especially extraction and drilling). Two special features that have led to more use of carboxymethylcellulose in the oil industry, one is resistance and maintaining efficiency in the presence of mineral salts and the second is maintaining properties due to temperature changes (thermal resistance).

It should be noted that although due to the sensitivity and high value of the extracted material (oil) the use of this material is common in the oil industry, but in general in any type of drilling, this material can be used to improve performance. For example, due to the property of this material in stabilizing the well wall, using this material in drilling deep wells, the next problems will be less.

Welding electrodes

This material is used in the manufacture of welding electrodes due to its properties such as thin film formation, strength, concentration, lubrication and uniformity.

Laminated boards

This material is used in wood industry, especially in compressed wood and especially laminated boards, due to its properties such as particle suspension, increasing structural strength, concentration, stabilization, heat resistance, lubrication and uniform distribution of particles in the system.

Because this material improves the adhesion properties and uniformity of particle distribution in composite and mixed systems, in the production of laminated boards also strengthens the adhesion of particles together and thus increases the strength of the structure. Due to the fact that this material has the property of forming a suitable and uniform film, it causes the integrity and uniformity of the properties created in the whole structure.

Battery industry

 This material is used as an adhesive for materials in the anode in aqueous systems (both domestic and non-domestic batteries) due to its properties such as stabilizing, compacting material and anti-suspension agent. A good amount of this adhesive can increase the contact capacity, increase the life and reduce the internal resistance of the battery.

Leather industry

This product is used in the synthetic leather industry as a thickening agent, improving the physical and mechanical properties of the surface, polishing and polishing the surface and protecting the texture of artificial leathers (due to the layer-forming and strengthening properties).

Carpets and rugs

The use of CMC for sizing in the carpet and rug industry is relatively old. The good properties of CMC in creating proper adhesion and creating a protective layer on the yarn and fabric used in the production of carpets and rugs, has made this material a quality bead in the textile industry.


Due to its film-forming properties, good surface tension, as well as good adhesion (due to its long cellulose chain), CMC is one of the main materials in the formulation of wallpaper adhesive (in the preparation of wallpaper adhesive, and a significant percentage of the formulation Make up), paste glue Paper, sandpaper glue, leather glue, etc. are used.

Toxins and pesticides

CMC is used in the pesticide and pesticide industry as a suspending agent.


CMC material is used in the mining industry in one of the stages of mineral extraction and extraction. This material is used in the flotation pond stage where the base metal is separated from the impurities. In fact, the main role of this material in this process is to be present as a high purity material to stabilize the suspension in the flotation pond. In fact, the mining industry uses a group of substances called adsorbents, which are mainly from the family of cellulose ethers and similar substances such as xanthan and guar gum.

Building and Construction industry

Today, due to the development of building chemistry and determining the direct impact of the use of quality materials and concrete additives on the strength of the structure, the use of additives in the construction industry is expanding. CMC material, due to its thickening properties, high water absorption power and suitable chemical resistance in the presence of calcareous ions such as calcium in cement, significantly in the production of concrete additives such as lubricants, tile adhesives, antifreezes and also in Production of ready-made dry mortars is used.

Stabilization of flowing soils and road construction

Due to the fact that CMC is a natural and safe material and has good adhesion and very good film-forming properties, it can be well used as an alternative to oil mulch to stabilize flowing soils. In addition, according to the two features mentioned in the first line, CMC in the road construction industry to improve the quality of infrastructure in the construction of asphalt roads can play a good role.


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