Sodium stearate is an emulsifier and stabilizer. It is an important ingredient in soap, toothpaste and cosmetics. The white powdery substance is made from a saponification process, in which stearic acid is used as a base. It has a fatty odor.
Sodium stearate is also used as a stabilizer for plastics. It has excellent penetration, lubricity, and emulsification properties. As a stabilizer, it is often used to improve the thermal stability of thermosetting plastics. Also, it can be used as a lubricant in nylon.
Its chemical structure is made up of two parts, a polar head and a non-polar tail. In addition, the molecule has a carboxylate group. When dissolved in water, the ionic head and the hydrophobic tail combine with magnesium and calcium ions. This results in a compound that is highly soluble in alcohol.
Sodium stearate is derived from stearic acid, a natural saturated fatty acid. It is usually found in animal fat. But it can also be produced from vegetable sources.
Sodium stearate is used to stabilize emulsions and gels. It is one of the least-allergenic sodium salts of fatty acids. And it is often used as an emulsifier in soap and inks.
Sodium stearate is often found in solid deodorants. Among the different uses, it is used to thicken and stabilize the emulsions of latex paint. Another use is in the production of rubbers. Sodium stearate is a mild surfactant, and its use can increase the speed at which gelatinization occurs.