Tributyl phosphate (TBP) is a strong polar solvent used in the production of solutions of synthetic resins and natural rubber. In both cellulose based plastics and synthetic resins, TBP is used as a flame-retarding plasticizer.
TBP is employed as a pasting agent for pigment pastes. Due to the limited influence of temperature on the viscosity of TBP, it also serves as an important component in the manufacture of hydraulic fluids for aircraft.
As a very strong wetting agent, TBP is used in the textile industry and in the field of adhesives. As a neutral extractant it is able to extract both acids and metal cations.