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Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Poly(acrylic acid) (PAA or Carbomer) is generic name for synthetic high molecular weight polymers of acrylic acid. They may be homopolymers of acrylic acid, crosslinked with an allyl ether pentaerythritol, allyl ether of sucrose or allyl ether of propylene. In a water solution at neutral pH, PAA is an anionic polymer, i.e. many of the side chains of PAA will lose their protons and acquire a negative charge. This makes PAAs polyelectrolytes, with the ability to absorb and retain water and swell to many times their original volume. Dry PAAs are found in the market as white and fluffy powders. Carbomer codes (910, 934, 940, 941 and 934P) are an indication of molecular weight and the specific components of the polymer. For many applications PAAs are used in form of alkali metal or amonium salts e.g. sodium polyacrylate.
Poly acrylic acid and its derivatives are used in disposable diapers, ion exchange resins and adhesives. They are also popular as a thickening, dispersing, suspending and emulsifying agents in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and paints. PAA inactivates the antiseptic chlorhexidine gluconate.
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