Super absorbent polymer (sodium polyacrylate & potassium polyacrylate)

Super absorbent polymer

Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP) also referred to as Slush Polymer has the capacity to absorb and retain liquid in large quantities relative to its own mass. It is a white granular or powder polymer material that can absorb liquid a hundred times its weight and when it does, it locks water firmly.
 
 
Tips: The liquid metal concentration affects the SAP’s water absorption capability so the higher the level of ion concentration, the weaker its ability to absorb water. This is why SAP can absorb pure water ten times more than it can absorb Saline water.
 

The advantageous aspect of using SAP is that it is:

  • Non-toxic;
  • Not pollute the environment;
  • Not harm to the human body.

 

Types of Super absorbent polymer

So far, there are two types of superabsorbent polymers: sodium polyacrylate and potassium polyacrylate.

  • Sodium Polyacrylate: used in disposable hygiene products like baby and adult diapers, sanitary pads, sandless sandbags, ice bags and so on.
  • Potassium Polyacrylate: mainly used for plants as a water-retaining agent.

 

Application Details

SAP is used for different purposes. Besides the use of personal hygiene products, they are also used for agricultural and mechanical purposes.
Here’re the details:

For Plants

Widely used as a water retention agent which improves the ability of the soil to hold water such as landscaping, agriculture, and forestry. etc.

Tips: the specific water retention for agriculture is 1.3-1.4 MPa. For the specific retention of roots, it is 1.6-1.7 MPa. That’s why SAP can automatically release water to plants’ roots.

 

Mechanism
 
  1. Soil Side
  • Increase the capacity of the soil to hold water (by 35 – 80%);
  • Increase tiny soil viscosity;
  • SAP maintains soil temperature, PH;
  • Loose soil ( SAP will expand or contract when in action).
 
  1. Fertilizer Efficiency
  • Besides water absorption, SAP also absorbs fertilizer elements in the soil to prevent loss.
  • Potassium Polyacrylate contains 18.3% potassium which gradually releases fertilizer efficiency.
 
  1. Plant Side
  • To increase the rate of germination, SAP slowly and steadily releases water to aid the survival of seedlings;
  • Improves crops’ yield capacity;
  • Decrease the potentiality of fruit cracking;
  • Other benefits of a steady supply of water.

 

For Other Uses

As a result of its awesome water retention capabilities, SAP is also useful for protecting products from liquid exposure.

Waterproofing Cables

super absorbent polymer for Waterproofing Cables

Manufacturers of waterproof cables, ointments, and tapes make use of SAP. Even Optical cables need SAP for added protection from water damage.
 
The speed at which it absorbs water is very high so also is its inflation and quantum rate when absorbing water.

Ice Bags

super absorbent polymer for Ice Bags

When Freshwater is poured into ice packs for freezing, SAP immediately absorbs the water and converts it into a Gel. By placing polymers under fresh tap water, it soaks up enough water after about a few minutes to form Ice cubes in small cushion shapes.

Inflatable Anti-Flood Sandbags

super absorbent polymer for

When it comes to disaster management and prevention, Super Absorbent Polymers are used in making sandbags. When the sandbags contact water, it quickly absorbs and expands to form a wall-like barrier against advancing water.
Although they are called sandbags, they do not actually contain sand per say; they are only called that because of how they look when inflated.

The sand-less bags used in combating floods are initially small sizes and lightweight but as they absorb water they take a solid shape. Sand-less sandbags are easy to store because they are small in size and you can easily transport them also because of their lightweight.

Concrete Protection

super absorbent polymer for Concrete Protection

The permeability of SAP is low and it shuts out water content completely and because it has a fibrous texture, it can use to form vertical barriers. It is quite useful in cement products because of its effective sealant feature. Its advantages are
 
  • Improve the permeability of concrete;
  • Very effective as an internal sealant in materials made of concrete;
  • Can increase fibrous shapes;
  • Special SOCO polymers can be used as a controlled release agent in concrete.

Other types of Applications

There are other uses of SAP depending on the nature of the product. Its amazing properties are effective when used in some of these products listed below
  • Inflatable toys and rubber
  • Excreta collection
  • Protection of concrete
  • Thickening Gel
  • Drilling fluid
  • Oil – Water separation
  • Water beads
  • Fire- retardant gel such as a (Water extinguishing agent)

As a result of its amazing moisture retention capacity, different industries keep finding new purposes for Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP).


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