Soluble in water, Aluminium Sulphate is mainly used as a coagulating agent in the purification of drinking water and waste water treatment plants, and it is also used in paper manufacturing. This product is sometimes called alum or papermaker’s alum. It is an excellent product with a wide range of uses.
It is also used as a mordant in dyeing and printing textiles, in the reduction of pH of garden soil, as a waterproofing agent in concrete and as a molluscicide.
Some of the most common uses of aluminium sulphate are found within the home. The compound is often found in baking soda. Although there’s some controversy over whether it’s appropriate to add aluminium to your diet. Some antiperspirants contain aluminium sulphate because of its antibacterial properties; although as of 2005; the FDA does not recognize it as a wetness reducer. Finally, the compound is the astringent ingredient in styptic pencils which are designed to stop small cuts from bleeding.
Another one of the many uses of it is in dying and printing on cloth- when dissolved in a large amount of water that has a neutral or slightly alkaline pH; the compound produces a gooey substance called aluminium hydroxide. The gooey substance helps dyes stick to the cloth fibres; making the dye in the water insoluble. The role of this product is as a dye “fixer” which means that it combines with the molecular structure of the dye and the fabric so the dye doesn’t run when the fabric gets wet.
In the past, aluminium sulphate was used in making paper, although synthetic agents now have mostly replaced it. The aluminium sulphate helped to size the paper. In this process, this product was combined with rosin soap to change the absorbency of the paper. This changes the ink-absorbing properties of the paper. Using this means that the paper was made under acidic conditions. The use of synthetic sizing agents means that acid-free paper can be produced. Acid-free paper does not break down as fast as paper sized with acid.
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