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Topic: Sodium polyacrylate : "Water pearls" manipulation  (Read 3777 times)

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Offline mgibert

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Sodium polyacrylate : "Water pearls" manipulation
« on: March 24, 2010, 09:28:54 AM »
Dear everyone!
I am a physicist, and I would like to work with those super nice "water pearls" (ex : http://www.amazingwaterpearls.com/). If I understood properlly, they are made of Sodium polyacrylate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_polyacrylate).

The property that interests me as a physicist, is that I can work with spherical objects nearly invisible in water. The only thing I would like to do is being able to change the radius of those little spheres. In my dreams, I would like to be able to manipulate those spheres when they are dry (diameter of about 1mm) as if I was manipulating playdough. In this case I could change the radius of the final sphere (once full of water), and eventually insert some small particles in those spheres before wetting them.

So I purchased some of these and I could not find a way to manipulate them... (I tried to warm them up but they are still very rigid)

The questions I have for you are:
1- Is this possible? (I guess it has to be! The manufacturers of those "water pearls" are doing it!  ;) )
2- How can I do it?? ???

That would help me tremendously!!
Thanks a lot in advance!

Best regards,
Mat

PS: I hope I am in the good subsection of the forum... If not, I apologize... And I would blame my poor knowledge in Chemistry (as a Physicist  ;) )

Offline Woofuls

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Re: Sodium polyacrylate : "Water pearls" manipulation
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2010, 09:19:11 PM »
Changing already made polymers is no fun. What is possible is to make them and control the time you let them react (which likely will affect the particle radius). Alternatively, you change the ratio of reactants...

There are several patents on the production of these particles, one I found very quickly is given by the number: WO 2004011537 (European Patent Office).

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