Glycol Ether: EB vs TPM

Glycol Ether: EB vs TPM

Glycol ethers are a group of solvents that are commonly used in paints and cleaners. There are two common ethers that belong to this group: ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (EB) and glycol ether tripropylene glycol methyl ether (TPM). Even though glycol ether EB and TPM are part of the same group and possess many of the same qualities, there are some key differences between these two ethers. Read on to learn more about the differences between glycol ether EB and TPM.

Benefits of Glycol Ether EB vs. TPM

EB has both an ether and a hydroxyl group and is primarily used in coating applications. It can also be used as a stabilizer in metal cleaners and textile lubricants or as a chemical intermediate for manufacturing esters.

TPM consists of at least eight isomers providing beneficial characteristics. TPM is a solvent best used for inks in stamps and pens.

Listed below is a more detailed comparison of the properties of EB and TPM ethers.

Characteristics of EB that are particularly favorable include:

  • Retarder solvent for lacquers
  • Low surface tension
  • Biodegradable
  • High boiling point
  • Slow evaporation rate
  • Miscible in water and most organic solvents

TPM has several desirable properties for industrial applications, such as:

  • Strong solvency for polar and non-polar materials
  • Low viscosity
  • Low odor
  • Low volatility
  • Low evaporation rate
  • High boiling point
  • High flashpoint

Applications of Glycol Ether EB vs. TPM

Due to their similar structures, EB and TPM are designed for similar applications, though they differ at how well they perform the same task.

EB is particularly known for its applications consisting of:

  • Aerosol, aerospace, and architectural coatings
  • Lubricant in oil and gas processing
  • All-purpose, glass, floor, metal, and hard surface cleaners

TPM is the most popular for the following applications:

  • Solvent for products with ink (stamp pads and pens)
  • Solvent/coupling agent for rust removal, paints, and varnishes
  • Oven cleaning
  • Use with solvent-based solid coatings
  • Used in penetrating oils

When looking for glycol ether as a solvent for a cleaner of coating applications, ether EB is probably the answer. When looking for a glycol ether solvent designed to work best with inks, TPM is probably the winner.

Need to Purchase Solvents for Industrial Use?

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