We are fortunate to serve wonderful clients who span the globe. Some are as close as “just down the road” whereas others are on different continents entirely. We know some of you will enjoy a white Christmas and Holiday season, while others won’t see a single snowflake the entire year. If you find yourself in the later group no worries. Our curious group of scientists is ready to make it snow this holiday season, no matter your latitude.
Instant snow is a simple and easy way to make things feel even more festive this winter. For example, you can purchase 10 grams of instant snow, mix it with 6 ounces of water, and watch it immediately grow to 100 times its original size. To top it all off, it is polymer technology that enables this synthetic white Christmas.
This instant snow is a hydrophilic polymer, meaning it really likes water. Another term for this type of polymer is ultra-absorbent. Often, hydrophilic materials dissolve when they are exposed to water. However, since these polymers are made up of long chains of huge molecules that are strung together and cross-linked, they absorb the water and swell while simultaneously retaining their form. Ultra-absorbent polymers create a physical bond with water rather than a chemical bond. They are also flexible enough to absorb the water through osmosis. It is truly amazing science!
Hydrophilic polymers serve a very important role in modern society. The most common applications are within disposable diapers and feminine hygiene products. There are a wide variety of ways these polymers are making our world a better, healthier, and safer place. Recent applications include cosmetics, where hydrophilic polymers are used as way to remove metal contaminants from soil, and within pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
It is important to make sure your hydrophilic material is properly constructed, performs as needed, and is free of contamination. If we can help you do this, please let us know. Oh, and while you’re at it: let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!