Sodium Stearate Melting Point

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sodium stearate melting point

The simplest soaps are made from fatty acids and alkaline materials such as lye (sodium hydroxide) or quicklime (calcium oxide). Today’s most common fatty acid salt is sodium stearate.

Sodium stearate is the sodium salt of stearic acid, a fatty acid produced from vegetable or animal fats. Sodium stearate is widely used in soaps, cosmetics, detergents and other products for its thickening, emulsifying, lubricating, antistatic and odor control properties.

Pure stearic acid is white, waxy and crystalline and melts at 156degF (69degC). It has a low odor and taste.

Because stearic acid is naturally produced from fats and oils, it is susceptible to impurities that can affect its physical and chemical properties. These impurities may include minor amounts of lauric and palmitic acid which can cause variations in solubility, melting point, color, odor and other properties.

Stearic acid can also be reacted with water to form a compound called stearyl alcohol, which is commonly found in many industrial and consumer products as a thickener, emulsifier or adhesive. It is a lubricant, a humectant, and a surface treatment agent in the production of plastics and metals.

Sodium stearate is used in soaps and cosmetic products to improve their texture and soften the skin. It also has anti-foaming and rinsing properties. It is a common ingredient in deodorants and antiperspirants, foundation creams, hand lotions, hair straighteners and shaving creams. Sodium stearate is also used as a binding and stabilizing agent in chewing gum bases and for suppositories.