Top 3 Water Absorbing Materials: Absorb the Most Water


    There is no doubt that water-absorbing materials play an important role in all aspects of life and production. In addition to toilet paper, sponge, and cotton, what other absorbent materials can you name?

    This article will try to introduce you to water-absorbent materials and water-absorbent products as comprehensively as possible.

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    Absorbent materials/products

    Suberabsorbent Polymer

    Superabsorbent Polymer (sodium polyacrylate) is the most powerful water-absorbing substance.

    • Water absorption. Under ideal conditions, it can absorb thousands of times its own weight in water.
    • Water absorption speed. The water absorption process is completed instantly.
    • Lock in water. Firmly locks in the absorbed moisture, and the water will not escape even if pressed.

    Products on Amazon

    Steve Spangler’s Water Gel, 454g (1lb) Jar, Sodium Polyacrylate, Make Water Disappear!

    • MAKE WATER DISAPPEAR: Make water disappear like a magician with Steve Spangler’s Water Gel!
    • SUPER ABSORBENT: Steve Spangler’s Water gel is a super absorbent polymer powder that soaks up to 500-800 times its weight in water in seconds!
    • WORKS FAST: Steve Spangler’s Water Gel turns from a powder to a gel in just seconds!
    • SCIENCE FAIR PROJECTS: Steve Spangler’s Water Gel can be used as a science fair project by adding new variables such as different liquids.
    • DIAPER SECRET INGREDIENT: Sodium polyacrylate is the secret ingredient used to absorb “liquids” in diapers!

    Water-absorbent Sandbags

    These sandbags contain internal SAP, allowing them to absorb significant amounts of water and expand, similar to regular sandbags, effectively serving as water barriers.

    • Easy to transport. Each sandbag weighs just a few grams before use.
    • Quick deployment. When in contact with water, the sandbag rapidly absorbs water and transforms into a 25-kilogram sandbag within a few minutes.
    • Reusable. High-quality sandbags can be reused, depending on the type of water-absorbent resin inside.

    Products on Amazon

    New Pig Mildew-Resistant Absorbent Sock | Water Absorbing Snake | 3″ x 48″ | 1-Gal Absorbency | Pack of 12 | PIG105-BL

    • SOCKS SHOULD NOT be left in direct sunlight. UV exposure will cause degradation. Socks should not be Laundered
    • FLEXIBLE ABSORBENT SOCK is ideal for placing under freezers and coolers, along walls and surrounding equipment
    • AIR-DRY AND REUSE 1-3 times; squeeze water from sock or let sock air-dry before reuse
    • MILDEW RESISTANT ABSORBENT SOCK is made of 100% polypropylene skin and filler, resisting the growth of mildew and mold, perfect for long-term use
    • WATER ABSORBING SNAKE is lightweight and designed to quickly absorb and retain water (not recommended for diking large volumes of liquid)

    Types of absorbent materials

    Physical water absorption

    Physical water absorption is similar to a molecular sieve, which uses cavities to adsorb. Therefore, the ability to adsorb depends on the average radius of the cavity, and the adsorption capacity is positively related to the specific surface area.

    Therefore, the disadvantages of this physical water absorption are obvious: the water cannot be effectively locked after water absorption, and the water absorption is limited.

    The water-absorbing materials in this way are Cotton, Toilet paper, Sponge, and Activated carbon.

    Chemical water absorption

    Chemical water-absorbing materials use the material itself to chemically react with water to absorb water.

    It is characterized by fast water absorption, and usually cannot be used again after water absorption.

    The water-absorbing materials in this way are Calcium Oxide, Anhydrous calcium chloride, and Soda-lime.

    Polymer absorbent material

    Polymer absorbent material is an advanced physical absorbent material (using a combination of physical and chemical methods to absorb water). Water absorption is achieved through the principle of high concentration of hydrophilic groups and molecular sieves. This method uses chemical properties, but no chemical reaction occurs, so it can repeatedly absorb water after the improvement.

    The water-absorbing materials in this way are including polyvinyl alcohol, sodium polyacrylate, and potassium polyacrylate, etc.

    Top 3 water absorbent materials

    No.1 Sodium polyacrylate

    Sodium polyacrylate is a functional polymer material. It can absorb water up to several hundred times its own weight. As an important absorbent material, SAP is applied to every aspect of our lives.

    Sodium polyacrylate is a functional polymer material. It can absorb water up to several hundred times its own weight. As an important absorbent material, SAP is applied to every aspect of our lives.

    Advantages of sodium polyacrylate as a water-absorbing material

    High absorption.

    The water absorption (purified water) of conventional sodium polyacrylate is hundreds of times that of its own, and the improved product can reach thousands of times.

    Adjustable water absorption speed.

    Through post-processing in the production process, the water absorption speed of the finished product can be controlled according to the purpose. When used as an external water-stop material for cables, sodium polyacrylate can absorb water and swell very quickly, effectively preventing water from entering the inside of the cable.

    Gentle material.

    Sodium polyacrylate does not generate heat or produce toxic substances during the entire process of absorbing water and can be decomposed in the natural environment.

    As we see, Sodium polyacrylate is an amazing material. It can be applied to all aspects of life to absorb & hold water.


    • It’s not a good choice to use sodium polyacrylate retaining water in the soil for plants. As another superabsorbent polymer, potassium polyacrylate is mainly used as a water-retaining agent for plants in agriculture.
    • Common sodium polyacrylate does not absorb oil.

    No.2 Anhydrous calcium chloride

    The water absorption rate can reach more than 300% of its own weight.

    The main raw materials of calcium chloride desiccant are high-quality calcium carbonate and hydrochloric acid, which are refined by reaction synthesis, filtration, evaporation concentration, and drying process.

    Calcium chloride dehumidifier has the functions of adsorption activity, static dehumidification, and deodorization. Not only the adsorption speed is fast, the adsorption capacity is high, but it is also non-toxic, odorless, non-contact corrosion, and non-environmental pollution. Especially for the human body, it is widely used in oil seals, optical drugs, Health food, and military products.

    Calcium chloride has the physical properties of high-solubility liquor, high-solubility heat, and strong hygroscopicity. It can only combine with crystal water and can absorb a lot of moisture. So the raw material of calcium chloride desiccant is made of calcium chloride.

    Application range: Used for soda ash production. Anhydrous calcium chloride particles are commonly used as desiccants to fill the drying tube. Calcium chloride to dry macroalgae (or seaweed ash) can be used for soda ash production. Household dehumidifiers: Some household dehumidifiers use calcium chloride to absorb moisture in the air. Dryer or dehydrator for gases and organic liquids: Calcium chloride can also be used as a desiccant or dehydrator for gases and organic liquids.

    Because calcium chloride is neutral, it can dry acidic or alkaline gases and organic liquids, and can also produce a small amount of gas in the laboratory, such as nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, hydrogen chloride, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, etc. Used for bandage first aid: Anhydrous calcium chloride as a water-absorbing agent has been approved by FDA for bandage first aid, and its role is to ensure that the wound is dry.

    No.3 Calcium Oxide

    The water absorption rate can be about 35% of its own weight.

    Calcium oxide is usually formed by the thermal decomposition of materials (such as limestone or shells) containing calcium carbonate CaCO3 in the lime kiln.

    Calcium oxide is an alkaline oxide, and it reacts with water to form calcium hydroxide (slaked lime). This violent reaction emits a lot of heat and can even make water boil.

    Calcium oxide has a high affinity for water and is a more effective desiccant than silica gel. The reaction of calcium oxide with water is related to an increase in its volume by at least 2.5 times.

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