Acrylates possess certain characteristics that make them stand out from other chemicals. Such characteristics include flexibility, hardness, transparency, and many others. Thanks to this diverse range of properties, the chemical has found uses in various applications, including textiles, cosmetics, diapers, among others.
Applications of Acrylates
Acrylates have many applications, thanks to their diverse properties.
1. Diapers and Other Liquid Absorbent Applications
One of the unique properties of acrylates is their super absorbency. Acrylates are like sponges — they soak in a lot of water. Even as little as a gram of acrylate can soak up a cup of water. But unlike sponges, acrylates hold on to the water very tightly.
Where else would you need such materials if not in baby diapers? The super absorbency means that baby urine and feces can be soaked in and trapped in the diapers immediately. And because the diapers can hold the water remarkably, our babies have lesser chances of getting rashes.
A particularly good example of an acrylate polymer that has this characteristic is polyacrylic acid.
The cosmetics industry also makes use of acrylates on huge scales. However, its use in this industry is being reduced because of the potential health risks some acrylates pose to the skin.
3. Polymer Manufacturing
Ethyl acrylate is another acrylate that is mostly used as a component in the manufacturing of polymers such as rubber and plastics. Another acrylate that does this same job is Hydroxyethyl methacrylate.
4. Other Applications
Many other types of acrylates have useful functions in various industries. Some are used in inks and coatings, while others are used in adhesives. Animal care products, such as horse urine odor absorbers, pet pads, and insect feeders also have traces of acrylates in them.
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