AQA GCSE Chemistry

Revision Notes

8.1.2 Formulations


  • A formulation is a mixture that has been designed for a specific purpose to deliver a commercial product
  • Formulations are complex mixtures that are made by following an exact recipe
  • Every part of the formulation is present in carefully measured quantities so that each component provides the required properties
  • An everyday example of a formulation is paint
  • Paint contains the following substances in exact quantities:
    • Pigment: gives the paint colour
    • Binder: forms a film that holds the pigment in place
    • Solvent: used to dissolve the other components and alter the viscosity
  • Formulations are very important in the pharmaceutical industry where the exact ratios of each component must be precise
  • By changing the formulation of a particular medicine chemists can make sure it delivers the drug to the correct part of the body at the right concentration, that it’s safe to consume and has an adequately long shelf life
  • The information on the packaging of some products tells you the formulation as a percentage composition

Paints are a complex formulation of pigments, binders and solvents

Exam Tip

Formulations are not compounds as the components are not chemically combined.

Author: Francesca

Fran has taught A level Chemistry in the UK for over 10 years. As head of science, she used her passion for education to drive improvement for staff and students, supporting them to achieve their full potential. Fran has also co-written science textbooks and worked as an examiner for UK exam boards.

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