Carbopol® Polymer Products

Products within the Carbopol® polymer family are chemically similar in that they are all high molecular weight, crosslinked polyacrylic acid polymers. However, the polymers differ by crosslink density and can be grouped into the following categories.

  • Carbopol® homopolymers:  acrylic acid crosslinked with allyl sucrose or allyl pentaerythritol
  • Carbopol® copolymers: acrylic acid and C10-C30 alkyl acrylate crosslinked with allyl pentaerythritol

Numerous enhancements have been made to the Carbopol polymer family over time to address formulation demands, increase product robustness and improve product handling during processing. For example, the solvent system used to synthesize the polymers has evolved. Specifically, the "traditional" polymers are synthesized in benzene and the "toxicologically preferred" polymers are synthesized in either ethyl acetate or a cosolvent ethyl acetate/cyclohexane mixture. Additionally, a minor processing aid has been incorporated in the Carbopol® Ultrez polymers to provide greater versatility in formulating and processing

Product Overview and Recommendations

Polymerization Solvent Product Type
Carbopol® Polymer Benzene Ethyl Acetate Cosolvent1 Homopolymer Copolymer Interpolymer Viscosity, cP
(0.5 wt% at pH 7.5)
71G NF 4,000 - 11,000
971P NF 4,000 - 11,000
974P NF 29,400 - 39,400
980 NF 40,000 - 60,000
981 NF 4,000 - 10,000
5984 EP 30,500 - 39,400
ETD 2020 NF 47,000 - 77,0002
Ultrez 10 NF 45,000 - 65,000
934 NF 30,500 - 39,400
934P NF 29,400 - 39,400
940 NF 40,000 - 60,000
941 NF 4,000 - 10,000
1342 NF 9,500 - 26,5002

1 Cosolvent system made using cyclohexane and ethyl acetate
2 1.0 wt%

  • Carbopol homopolyers are polymers of acrylic acid crosslinked with allyl sucrose or allyl pentaerythritol
  • Carbopol copolymers are polymers of acrylic acid and C10-C30 alkyl acrylate crosslinked with allyl pentaerythritol
  • Carbopol interpolymers are a carbomer homopolymer or copolymer that contains a block copolymer of polyethylene glycol and a long chain alkyl acid ester
  • Due to regulatory restrictions on the use of benzene in pharmaceutical formulations, Lubrizol recommends that carbomers polymerized in either ethyl acetate or a cosolvent mixture of ethyl acetate and cyclohexane be used for all new drug development projects.
  • Additionally, it may be desirable to substitute a benzene polymerized carbomer with a non-benzene polymerized carbomer in a pharmaceutical formulation. The following table shows recommended substitutes for the benzene grade Carbopol products based on viscosity criteria. The substitute products are polymerized in either ethyl acetate or a cosolvent mixture of ethyl acetate and cyclohexane. If a substitution is made in a pharmaceutical formulation, it is recommended that key performance properties be ascertained and regulatory considerations be taken into account. Depending on the desired dosage requirements, other Carbopol polymers may be suitable alternatives.

Carbopol Products for Oral Pharmaceutical Applications

Carbopol® Polymer Suspensions Bioadhesive Formulations Roller-Compaction Solid Dosage
Wet Granulation
Direct Compression
71G NF
971P NF
974P NF
934P NF

Carbopol Products for Oral Care Applications

Carbopol® Polymer Toothpaste Mouthwash
971P NF
974P NF
ETD 2020 NF
980 NF
956

Also see Carbopol and Pemulen Products for Topical Applications