What is Gum Rosin?

Gum Rosin Overview

Gum Rosin Chemical Structure
Gum Rosin Chemical Structure
Gum Rosin Extra White Grade
Gum Rosin Extra White Grade

Rosin, also called colophony or Greek pitch (Latin: pix græca), is a solid form of resin obtained from pines and some other plants, mostly conifers, produced by heating fresh liquid resin to vaporize the volatile liquid terpene components. It is semi-transparent and varies in color from yellow to black. At room temperature rosin is brittle, but it melts at stove-top temperature. It chiefly consists of various resin acids, especially abietic acid. The term "colophony" comes from colophonia resina, Latin for "resin from Colophon," an ancient Ionic city.
It becomes sticky when warm and has a faint pinelike odour. Gum rosin consists of the residue obtained upon distillation of the oleoresin (a natural fluid) from pine trees (the volatile component is spirit of turpentine); wood rosin, obtained by solvent extraction of the stumps, is usually of a darker colour.


World Gum Rosin Production

The regions of major rosin production are Indonesia, southern China (such as Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian, Yunnan and Jiangxi), Brazil, and the northern part of Vietnam. The future supply of gum rosin and turpentine to the world market depends mainly on production trends in the People's Republic of China, Indonesia and Portugal (in that order), and to a lesser extent, Brazil. It also depends on consumption trends in China which are difficult to predict; increasing Chinese industrialization and domestic consumption of naval stores may eventually result in a decreasing surplus available for export. Any decrease in exports could be partly or wholly made up by increased supplies from Indonesia.

Here is the Gum Rosin Production data for Indonesia, China, and Brazil.

Gum Rosin Production Data 2013
Gum Rosin Production Data 2001-2013, (CGR = China, BGR = Brazil, and IGR=Indonesia)


Gum Rosin production overview and future outlook for sustainable Gum Rosin production.

Production Capacity of Gum Rosin
Production Capacity of Gum Rosin


Gum Rosin Uses and Applications

Most rosin is used in a chemically modified form rather than in the raw state in which it is obtained. It consists primarily of a mixture of abietic-type and pimaric-type acids with smaller amounts of neutral compounds. This intrinsic acidity, coupled with other chemical properties, enables it to be converted to a Large number of downstream derivatives which are used in a wide range of applications. The derivatives include salts, esters and maleic anhydride adducts, and hydrogenated, disproportionated and polymerized rosins. Their most important uses are in the manufacture of adhesives, paper sizing agents, printing inks, solders and fluxes, various surface coatings, insulating materials for the electronics industry, synthetic rubber, chewing gums and soaps and detergents.
Rosin and its chemical derivatives are used chiefly to make soaps, varnishes, sealing wax, printing inks, driers, sizes for paper, adhesives, binders, soldering fluxes, gloss oils for paints, and pitch for casks. Rosin is also used on bows of violins and other stringed instruments, on the shoes of dancers, and on floors of studios and stages to prevent slipping.

Gum Rosin Applications

1. Foodstuff Industry - Gum Rosin is firstly converted into hydrogenated rosin, and then used to produce chewing gum
2. Paints & Coating Industry - Rosin is a basic material for paint industry because rosin is easy to dissolve in alcohol, gasoline, turpentine and others organic solvent. Rosin always is converted to resinate, and then refine with drying oil such as tung oil and mix with volatility solvent to produce various lacquers. Rosin also take important role in producing road coating, rosin firstly converted to rosin malefic ester or polymerized rosin or disproportionated rosin Polyols ester, and then used to make thermoplastic coating for road sign inunction.
3. Metal Processing Industry - Rosin mainly is used as solding aid and metal polishing agent. Rosin is a kind of weak acidity matter, it can remove oxidation film from metal surface and slightly erode the surface of metal, and therefore, lots of solding aid agents contain rosin.
4. Construction Materials Industry - Rosin mainly is used as concrete frothing agent and floor tiling adhesive.
5. Papermaking Industry - Most rosin was applied to papermaking industry as sizing agent. Rosin paper sizing agent can prevent printing oil soaking and dispersing from paper, improves the strength and smoothness of paper; enhances the anti-abrasion of paper. But crystal rosin is unfit for making paper sizing agent due to difficulty of saponification, subsequently makes spot on the paper; sometimes even makes the pipe jam in paper sizing agent producing.
6. Printing Inks Industry - Rosin mainly act as color carrier and enhance color adhesive ability in printing ink. It takes about 7% of quality of printing oil in China. Rosin is converted into modified phenolic rosin with softening point of 160 to 175 Celsius degrees and below 20 acid value when it is used in offset printing ink producing. In photogravure printing ink producing, rosin firstly is converted into metal salt rosin with softening point of 125 to 135 Celsius degrees and below 95 acid value. For polymerized rosin, it can be used to producing various special printing ink.
7. Bactericide Industry - Rosin can be converted into abietylamine acetate for killing algae, bacteria, mildew, mollusk and others pest.
8. Adhesives & Sealants Industry - Rosin was widely used as an ingredient of some kind of adhesive; especially in heat melt adhesive, pressure sensitive adhesive and rubber adhesive. Rosin mainly is used to enhance the strength, plasticity and viscosity of adhesive.
9. Electrical Equipment Industry - Rosin is used as insulation material in electric equipment industry; China has long history of applying rosin as insulation material in cable industry. Rosin also can mix with bakelite and others artificial resin to soak and besmear electric loop.
10. Fine chemicals Industry - Abietic acid is the main ingredient of rosin, it can be synthesized with others matter to produce series optics reactive materials and biotic reactive materials; these materials have special function for human and others organism.
11. Synthetic Rubber Industry - Rosin is used as softener in synthetic rubber industry; it enhances the plasticity, tear strength, heat resistance, flexibility and anti-abrasion of synthetic rubber; also rosin can be use as dispersant and emulsification in synthetic rubber industry. After seventies of twenty century, about 20% of total annual output of rosin was used synthetic rubber industry.

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