Everyone knows that acrylic powder is the backbone of fake nails… But how many of us know just how this ‘secret ingredient’ is made?
If you’d like to understand how acrylic is made, you’d first know basic chemistry. I mean the basic knowledge of how such polymers are made. This would bring you to knowing the difference between a monomer (1 atom), polymer (2 or more atoms), suspensions and of course what a catalyst does.
It’s just as simple as you make fake nails using a mixture of colored acrylic powder, water, and a catalyst. Forget the complex way it sounds; this isn’t a hard-ass subject that would require you to run over to your chemistry books
So what are monomers?
A monomer is gotten from the Greek word “monos” which means “one”, so you already know that we are talking about one item. Since you can’t make a polymer without a monomer, you’d need one monomer. When making acrylic powder, the monomer you’d need is methyl methacrylate.
The methyl methacrylate can be added to water to create a suspension. This suspension separates the monomer – methyl methacrylate from the many polymers.
Let’s talk about polymers.
These are strands of monomers which are chemically strung together. A catalyst may be added to them to hasten the process. Say you want to hasten the process of converting the acrylic powder; a suitable catalyst you can add is an organic peroxide. You can also add any other suiting chemical totally depending on the polymer you are planning to produce.
Pearl Polymerization or Suspension Polymerization
This is the process you’d use to collect the acrylic powder (by removing the water to collect the fine powder). Once collected, the acrylic powder can be put to use for anything you might have in mind.
Where Bulk Polymerization Come in
Yes, we already discussed making the fine acrylic powder (which requires the suspension or pearl polymerization method). Now let’s talk about the bulk polymerization process which is used to create a resin-like substance called Polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
PVC as it’s most known as has several practical uses but the most notable is the plastic pipe (PVC) which is used in the construction of many modern buildings.
Why Make Acrylic Powder
Acrylic is an essential part of many things. When acrylic is changed through different mechanical and chemical processes, its uses become more varied. The acrylic powder is easier for consumers to utilize in making their desired finished products (fake nails comes to mind).
Interesting this impressive acrylic powder which is the secret ingredient of fake nails isn’t just limited to the beauty niche. In fact, it’s pretty popular and useful in various other fields you’d not expect. For instance, engineers, and chemists also apply it to industrial needs.
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Application and Uses of Acrylic Powder
As stated earlier, the application and uses of powered acrylic are endless. One of the most notable is false fingernails or fake nails (see SNS dip powder nails) which most females and crossdressers love to have.
However, the application of the acrylic powder is not solely for the beauty sector (as said earlier). An acrylic powder formed into a polymer can be used in the manufacture of adhesives, inks, cars undercoating, cosmetic, dry film photo, automotive paste waxes, specialty coatings, injection, and sheet molding and a lot more specialized uses.
Now you know why acrylic powder is a pretty interesting and important piece of a puzzle. Want to make yours?