Evaluation of the Type of Polymer and Co-surfactant in Coacervate Formation

W. Cabrejos Caracciolo

Coacervates are complexes formed from a polymer-polymer or polymer-surfactant interaction. Coacervates formed by a cationic polymer and an anionic surfactant enabled the development of the first conditioning shampoos (also called 2-in-1 shampoos). The objective of this work is to contribute with the identification of formulation parameters that increase the formation of coacervates. Polymer charge, micelles charges and the total content of surfactants are determining factors in the formation of coacervates. Factors such as polymer molecular weight and ionic strength also contribute, although in lesser order of importance, to the formation of coacervates. However, the role played by the degree of hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity of the polymer, as well as the effect of different co-surfactants, has not been determined with certainty. In the present study, three different types of polymers and six types of co-surfactants will be evaluated, keeping constant the amount of anionic surfactant, total content of surfactants and ionic strength. These results will serve to optimize the formulation of conditioning hair cleaning products.

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