Polyacrylamide / acrylate is a copolymer of acrylamide and acrylic acid (normally supplied as the sodium salt) that is cross-linked sufficiently to render it insoluble in water but which retains its hydrophilic nature. It therefore can absorb a very large amount of water, swelling proportionately as it does so. The amount of water that can be absorbed by Polyacrylamide / acrylate is typically around 400 times the weight of polymer if the water is completely free of solutes, decreasing quite markedly as the level of solute(s) increases.
The applications of Polyacrylamide / acrylate include horticulture, hygiene products like disposable nappies and innumerable odd jobs around the laboratory.
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