Entry by Andrew Capulli
HLB Scale: Hydrophilic-Lipophilic Balance
Developed by Griffin (1949), the HLB Scale ranks the tendency of a surfactant to be hydrophilic or hydrophobic (lipophilic). Since a surfactant molecule has both hydrophilic and hydrophobic portions (that's why its a surfactant!) Griffin developed a ranking system to determine 'how hydrophilic' and 'how hydrophobic' a surfactant is. Surfactants generally have hydrophobic hydrocarbon chains with hydrophilic branches or ends.
- The HLB Scale ranges 1-20
- Surfactants with higher HLB numbers (greater than 10) are more hydrophilic
- Surfactants with lower HLB number (less than 10) are more hydrophobic (lipophilic)