Some Interesting Facts about Sodium Silicate

Interesting Facts about Sodium Silicate

Sodium Silicate which is often known as Water Glass, Liquid Glass or Soluble Glass is a generic name for the chemical compound containing Sodium Oxide (Na2O) and Silicon Dioxide (SiO2). The usual way by which Sodium Silicate manufactured is by reacting silica sand soda ash at about 1,100⁰C. The anions of this compound are generally polymeric. Sodium Silicate is a colorless transparent solid or white powder compound that is soluble in water in any amount. This compound is stable in neutral and alkaline solutions. But in acidic solutions, the silicate ions react with hydrogen ions to form Orthosilicic acid.

For Sodium Silicate manufacturer fusing of Silica with Soda Ash in an open hearth furnace in an autoclave under pressure is required. The solution of the Sodium Silicate which is formed under pressure is filtrated from the unreacted carbon particles already present in the husk ash and finally concentrated in an evaporator. The following list of components is required for its production:

  • Raw Materials
    • Caustic Soda Flakes
    • Rice Husk
    • Rice Husk Ash
    • Chlorine Gas
  • Water
  • Electricity
  • Manpower

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The compound Sodium Silicate is ideal for the use of common consumer products which includes powdered laundry and dishwasher detergents.

  • This compound is used in liquid form to form a hard glassy gel used as an adhesive. This is usually used to bind items such as paper cores for paper towels toilet tissue, fiber drums corrugated board, paperboard laminates and angle board. Sodium Silicate Manufacturers usually prefer this as an adhesive because it is low cost, non-toxic and environment friendly.
  • Sodium Silicate is used as a deflocculent by pottery and ceramic manufacturer, which is a thinning substance. This compound is added to a thin liquid clay used to attach pieces of unfired ceramics or green ware. For this sodium silicate powder must be used in 1:10 ratio with water.
  • For the production of Silica Gel Sodium Silicate is one of the raw ingredient used for its production. This gel is an effective desiccant or drying agent. It is a pliable substance which is actually an irregular shaped hard crystal.
  • Small quantities of dissolved Sodium Silicate is used in treatment of municipal water supplies as well as waste water, where it absorbs metallic ions and forms loose agglomerations of particles called flocs.

Water Glass or Sodium Silicate is usually available in nearby retail store as it is not harmful for use as well as it is available worldwide in moderate price range.  This compound is non-flammable, non-explosive and non-toxic.

They are alkaline material and cause hazards to skin and eyes causing irritation, pain and coronal burns leading to blindness. Inhaling mist of Sodium Silicate may result in irritation in the respiratory tract causing symptoms such as coughing, pain and choking. And ingestion of water glass will lead to burn and pain in the esophagus and gastrointestinal tract with vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. If ever spill occurs emergency response personnel must protective equipment to protect himself and minimize the exposure to it.

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