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Thread: Help making sodium silicate.

  1. #1
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    Help making sodium silicate.

    All I end up with is wet silica gel. If I heat it long enough I get hot dry silica gel.

    IMG_6441_S.JPG

    I have tried using a hotplate and in succession: a stainless steel sauce pan, stainless steel bowl, and stainless steel measuring cup.

    Today I tried making it in a small glass bowl in a microwave oven. Results are in the first image. Used 20 g water, 16 lye and 12 g of the silica gel. In this case I ran the silica gel in a blender, nuked it for 2 minutes. It fused so I ground up the resulting mass in the blender again. When heated nothing happens but the water evaporates. Adding more water seems to just moves it back to the start.

    So maybe its not the equipment.

    The silica gel is from a local gov agriculture office. Water crystals used to retain water in potted plant soil. The repackage the stuff into ziplocks so I have not seen the container it was packaged in. Need to see if they can point me to where they purchase it. The local druggist is going to save me his desiccant packets for a week. Will try it with them.

    The lye was purchased off Amazon

    IMG_6440_S.JPG

    The lye is 99% food grade sodium hydroxide. Could the other 1% be causing problems.

    In the vids the silica gel dissolves. Mine plumps.

    My only path seems to be swapping out the ingredients with stuff from other sources.

    Howard

  2. #2
    Moderator DavidF's Avatar
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    Im thinking its the sillica gel you used.
    A calm sea does not make a skilled sailor...
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Tobho Mott's Avatar
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    People seem to have good luck using the crystal type kitty litter instead of dessicant beads, from what I've seen on y-tube. That might be easier to find in larger quantities. I haven't tred it myself, the few cores I've made were bonded with wood stove gasket cement (also ss-based).

    Good luck,

    Jeff
    Tobho had learned to work Valyrian steel at the forges of Qohor as a boy. Only a man who knew the spells could take old weapons and forge them anew.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Jammer's Avatar
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    This is from several years ago and I'm still using it. Please read carefully, very hot and violent reaction.

    http://www.alloyavenue.com/vb/showth...odium+silicate

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    The crystals I have may well be a petro based polymer. That would explain why the powered stuff fuzzed when I nuked it. Oh DUH! Next stop "Amazing Kitty Litter".

    Other than this problem I am making good progress. Ran into a local well driller and snagged 100 lbs of bentonite. It will be interesting to see how green sand made with it differs from my local clay.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    Thanks for the helpful link Jammer. I now have sodium silicate and the ingredients for more.

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