Synonyms: Stearic acid
Description: Stearin is used in conjunction with Aluminum flakes to help in the grinding process in making Dark Aluminum powder . It is also used in some fountain composition, which calls for stearin powder. Stearin is a glyceryl ester of stearic acid, derived from animal fats created as a by-product of processing beef. It is used as tallow in the manufacture of candles and soap.
Hazards: evaporated stearin like all fat is slightly toxic for the lung
Sources: It can be bought as a candles in many shops. Purified (white) animal fat like pig is in most part made of stearic acid and is a good subtitute for most application
Making stearin powderEdit
There is no use trying to pulverize stearin in a burr- or ball mill !
Be sure to purchase 100% stearin candles as a starting material, as lower quality candles may also contain paraffin. Paraffin makes the pulverizing process more difficult if not impossible, and may be disadvantageous for the composition as well.
Take a candle and scrape its surface with a sharp knife at a 90 angle as lightly as you can. Pile the very fine shavings thus obtained on a sheet of newspaper. You need to scrape the candle for several hundreds of times - you are tempted to add pressure, but continue as lightly as you can. When done, collect shavings on the center of the newspaper and start chopping and re-piling with the knife. You'll be amazed at how easily the shavings will reduce to a fine powder. Sieve the powder through ca.40mesh tea screen with an aid of a teaspoon. You need to tap the clogged screen eventually to clean it.
By this method you can make 100gm stearin powder in an evening, enough for 1kg of typical composition calling for stearin. You will note how much static electricity stearin powder generates! It is safe to spray all of the equipment with an antistatic spray prior to mixing of compositions. It is advantageous to make powder as needed because it cakes very easily.
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