Rosin - Colophony

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Product Ref: 511

Rosin Resin - Colophony - Colophonium - Rosin Gum Gum Rosin - Pine Rosin - WW Wood Rosin - Greek Pitch

CAS Number: 8050-09-7
EINECS Number: 232-475-7


Rosin is a solid resin derived from the oleo-resin (crude turpentine) exuded by various species of pine tree. Rosin is extracted by heating the oleo-resin to vaporise the essential oils (spirit of turpentine), or through a naphtha solvent process. Rosin is mainly produced in Indonesia, northern Vietnam and southern China, but the US, Mexico and France are also producers.


Rosin is sold as a semi-transparent solid ranging in colour from yellow to black and has a faint odour of pine. The commercial grades range from A (the darkest) to N (extra pale), through to superior W (window glass) and WW (water-white). Rosin is brittle and easily crumbled at room temperature, but melts at around 100-120 °C and is highly flammable. Rosin dissolves in alcohol, benzene, chloroform and ether. It is also soluble in spirit of turpentine and turpentine substitute.


Food Industry

Glycerol Esters of Wood Rosins (E445) is used as a glazing agent on the surface of citrus fruit. The Beverages industry uses E445 as an emulsifier in cloudy alcoholic and soft drinks.

Confectionery Industry

E445 is used for for printing on personalised and/or promotional hard-coated confectionery products.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Rosin and its derivatives are used as glazing agents for medicines, enteric coatings, and films for tablets and capsules. Rosin is also an ingredient in adhesive plasters, emollients and ointments (e.g. creams for treating nappy rash, haemorrhoids, blisters, cold sores and warts).

Cosmetics Industry

Rosin is used in the manufacture of soap, lipstick, mascara, eyeshadow, nail varnish, concealer cream, hair removal wax, sun lotion and dental floss.

Wood Treatment Industry

Rosin is a constituent of varnishes, lacquers, sealing wax, glue, adhesives and fillers.

Other Industries

In the Electrical and Electronics industries, lead-tin solder contains Rosin as a flux, which facilitates soldering by helping the molten metal to flow and removing oxidation from the metals to be joined, improving the connection.

In the Printing and Paper industries, Rosin is an ingredient in printing inks and paper sizing, particularly paper for photocopying and laser printing. It is also used on etching plates.

The Art industry uses Rosin for tempera emulsions and as a component of oil paints.

In the Music industry, musicians rub blocks of Rosin on the bows of stringed instruments to help them vibrate, and apply it to the bridges of other musical instruments to prevent them moving.

In the Sport & Leisure industry, dancers, boxers, weightlifters and fencers rub Rosin powder into their shoes to improve traction and reduce slippage. It is also applied to the starting line of drag racing courses. Gymnasts, acrobats, pole dancers, rock climbers, bull riders, ten-pin bowlers, baseball pitchers and players of other handball sports rub Rosin on their hands or gloves to improve grip. It is also used in the wax for archery bowstrings to prevent fraying and reduce wear.