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Shellac is an amorphous, thermoplastic and tough resin, which forms high-gloss films. It is soluble in low alcohols (ethanol) and aqueous-alkaline media but stable against hydrocarbons. It is physiologically harmless and biodegradable. It is produced by refining of seedlac by means of three different processes (heat process, ethanol extraction, chemical bleaching).

Grades of Shellac

  • Handmade Shellac.
  • Machine Made Shellac.
  • Dewaxed Shellac.
  • Bleached Shellac.
Specification of Shellac

Acid Value

Ester Value 110-175
Saponification Value 175-240
Wax Content: 5.50% max.
Moisture: 2% max.
Rosin Content Nil
Orpiment Nil
Arsenic 1.5 PPM max.
Heavy Metals as Pb 10 PPM max.
Insolubility in Hot Alcohol 1.00%-1.25%


Wood treatment inks, finishing, coating agent for seed, Food: Fruit coatings (e.g. citrus fruit, melons, apples), parting and glazing agent (e.g. chocolate, chewing gum), micro encapsulation of flavourings, barrier coatings (e.g. moisture barrier) Pharmaceuticals: Gastric juices resistant coatings, barrier coatings (moisture barrier, odour barrier), sustained release tablets Cosmetics: Film former in hairspray, hair settings and nail lacquer, binder in mascara, micro encapsulation of fragrances


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