The name Sodium Silicate is not specific for a single type of chemical, but with this term it indicates a set of sodium salts of silicic acid very different from each other for behavior and physic-chemical characterization, since the degree of polymerization varies significantly with different parameters.
Their important characteristic is the water solubility, in fact Sodium Silicates are mainly marketed in liquid form. Due to this characteristic solubility and the glassy nature of the solid, sodium silicate in watery solution is commonly called “liquid glass”.
Other important aspects of Sodium Silicate are:
heat resistance, due to the inorganic nature and especially to the non-volatility of silicates;
acid resistance, due to insolubility and the perfect chemical inertia of SiO2 in an acidic environment, except for hydrofluoric acid.
Sodium Silicate’s components are therefore:
silica, SiO2, which is the acidic part of silica
Na2o sodium oxide, which is the basic part of it, water, H2O
The ratio between the amount of silica (SiO2) and alkali (Na2O) present in watery solution defines the characteristics and behavior of the product, since high weighting ratios exhibits a high polymerization and, on the other hand, low weighting ratios presents the monomer forms to a greater extent.
The relationship between these species and their concentration depends not only on the final characteristics, such as viscosity, boiling temperature and density, but also on the classification of the product’s danger and its field of use.
Sodium Silicate is an exclusively inorganic product.