The development of techniques to formulate and study gel systems is something which is of great interest to R&B Research and the systems can take several forms including:
- Oil external microemulsion gels where the structural elements can be modified using a simple water enrichment process and where the carrier oil can impart functionality to the system.
- Conventional water based gels using a range of natural occurring structure forming materials.These systems can be used for a variety of applications including simple ant bait stations to more sophisticated means of controlling the deposition properties of herbicides and fungicides onto plant surfaces to improve selectivity whilst reducing environmental impact.
- More sophisticated gel systems where the addition of gel components is more than just as a means of increasing viscosity; this can include the use of structure formation to lock up water for instance in a rodent treatment product.
A detailed understanding of rheology under a wide range of conditions is essential in the study of these types of system and at R&B Research we use Cone & Plate geometry to study these formulations. In addition the development of analytical techniques and the use of phytotoxicity studies on model plant species helps us to understand how the gel is behaving under a wide range of conditions and processes.