Unique properties & applications of Acti-Gel 208® inorganic thickener

Here at Faber&VanderEnde, we’re dedicated to providing innovative solutions that enhance the performance and quality of formulations. One of those solutions is Acti-Gel® 208.

This revolutionary inorganic thickener and rheology modifier has and continues to transform various industries. Whether you’re in construction, agriculture, or paints and coatings, Acti-Gel® 208 offers a whole host of benefits that can significantly improve your product outcomes. 

In this blog, we’ll explore its key properties and applications, uncovering the many reasons why it’s an industry leader.

Understanding inorganic thickeners

Inorganic thickeners are materials derived from minerals that are used to make liquids thicker and more stable. Unlike organic thickeners which are based on carbon compounds, inorganic thickeners come from natural mineral sources like clay and silicates.

They are crucial when it comes to perfecting the formulation of various products particularly when looking to improve their texture, stability and performance, without altering their other properties.

When added to a formulation, an inorganic thickener will interact with the liquid medium and the particles within it to increase its viscosity and improve its stability. Whether it’s a skincare product or a construction material, they are an indispensable additive used across a diverse range of industries.

New forms of inorganic thickening agents continue to emerge as technology develops, but Acti-Gel® 208 stands strong as one of the industry-leading, most trusted products in this field.

acti gel 208 used in skincare products

What is Acti-Gel® 208?

Developed by Active Minerals International, Acti-Gel® 208 is an advanced inorganic thickener and rheology modifier known for its unique properties and versatile applications.

Composed of highly purified magnesium aluminosilicate, it is produced through a wet process that eliminates the need for grinding. During this process, most natural grit and unwanted minerals are removed, and the rod-shaped particles, known as ‘bristles’, are chemically exfoliated. This results in a product with pure, uniformly sized and shaped particles.

The ‘bristles’ have a unique charge distribution, being positively charged at the ends and negatively charged along the axis. This electro-mechanical interaction forms a lattice structure that effectively keeps other particles and liquids in a mixture dispersed and suspended. Its particles have an average length of 1.5 to 2 µm and a diameter (Φ) of 30 nm.

This special manufacturing process makes Acti-Gel® 208 a unique, high-performance additive that offers exceptional thickening and stabilisation capabilities with only a small dosage required.

How it’s used

How Acti-Gel® 208 is integrated into formulations depends on the product and the desired thickening, stabilising, and rheology-modifying effects. 

This will vary across industries and applications, but it is generally added last in the mixing sequence with a typical dosage (dry basis) ranging from 0.01% to 0.20% (based on the total dry weight of the material).

To get the right quantities and specific integration techniques for your application, we recommend seeking the help of an expert in this field. Faber&VanderEnde can advise on the dosage for your specific formulation, please get in touch with us if you need help.

acti gel 208 inorganic thickener

Key benefits of Acti-Gel® 208 inorganic thickener

Acti-Gel® 208 is a popular inorganic thickening agent across many industrial and consumer applications, for many reasons. 

Some of the key benefits it can bring to formulations include:

Enhanced stability

The settling and separation of liquids in formulations can affect their quality and applications, but the introduction of Acti-Gel® helps to prevent this by keeping particles and liquids uniformly dispersed. 

This can help improve the formula’s stability which is crucial to products such as paints, coatings and emulsions, resulting in consistent texture and performance over time.

Improved rheology

By incorporating Acti-Gel® 208, formulators get greater control over the viscosity of formulations, enhancing their flow properties and ease of application. 

It offers desirable shear-thinning properties which means that the viscosity decreases under shear stress and recovers once the stress is removed, making the product easier to apply and work with.

Greater product quality

The properties of Acti-Gel® 208 contribute to an overall improvement in product quality when added to formulations.

For example, in skincare it helps to achieve a smooth and luxurious texture, creating the desired consistency for the end consumer. In paints, it helps to improve application and ensure an even distribution for a flawless end result.


It generally only needs to be used in small quantities, meaning formulators can get their desired results without using a large amount. This makes it a cost-effective solution for many manufacturers as it can be used sparingly across different formulations.


As Acti-Gel® 208 is composed of naturally occurring minerals, it is generally considered safe for use in various applications. 

adding acti gel 208 to formulations

Applications of Acti-Gel® 208

Acti-Gel® 208 is an incredibly versatile solution. Some of its key applications include:


Renowned for its applications in the concrete industry, Acti-Gel® 208 is an essential product for producers who want to benefit from material cost savings.

It improves workability in concrete and cement mixes, making them easier to handle and apply. It also reduces the amount of water needed, enhancing the strength and durability of the end product.

The product enhances pumpability, creating a product which is easier to pump out through hoses and pumps, making for a smoother and more efficient application.

By preventing the segregation of aggregate and other components, it creates a more uniform mix which improves the consistency of quality and structural integrity. This improved stability also contributes to reduced shrinkage and cracking, improving the durability and longevity of concrete structures.

Paints & Coatings

Acti-Gel® is easy to add anywhere in the production process of paints and coatings, and can serve as a simple fix for common problems such as pigment float & flooding, syneresis and sedimentation.

Used as an effective thickening agent, it can control the viscosity of various types of paints and coatings, ensuring ease of application and preventing sagging and dripping. It also helps to stabilise pigment dispersions, preventing the settling of pigments and fillers to ensure a uniform colour and texture throughout. 

For paints and coatings, precise application is key and Acti-Gel® additives enhance their flow and levelling properties to ensure a smooth and even finish whilst preventing defects such as brush marks or streaks.


Acti-Gel® 208 is an essential thickening agent in agricultural applications, particularly soil. It can be used as a soil amendment to improve structure and water retention, leading to better crop growth and reduced erosion. This is particularly important in areas prone to heavy rainfall or wind erosion.


In mining applications, Acti-Gel® 208 helps to improve the stability of mineral slurries, preventing the settling of particles during processing to ensure more efficient separation and extraction of valuable materials.

These stabilising properties are also beneficial to mine tailings, helping to stabilise the tailings and reduce the environmental impact of mining activities.

It can also be used in dust control applications to help suppress dust in mining operations and improve the air quality for workers. 

Looking for an Acti-Gel® 208 supplier?

Faber&VanderEnde is proud to work with Active Minerals International as a reliable distributor for Acti-Gel® 208. We work with businesses across Europe, supplying them with high-quality materials to help transform their formulations.

We have a team of technical specialists with excellent market knowledge who can advise on the right solution for your application. To find out more about how we can help you or to make an enquiry, please contact us.

2024 - All rights reserved
Webdesign & CMS: Pixel Creation