Did you know that monomer was a Greek term that means one unit? Well other than monomer, do you know what other ingredients go into the acrylic liquid we use day in day out?
Here is a list of the main ingredients that go into most types of acrylic liquids.
Monomer: There are many different chemicals that are classified as monomers. The most common monomer found in acrylic liquids is ethynl methacrylate(EMA). EMA has adhesive properties which hold everything together and resist cracking and spreads thoroughly and smoothly. Low odour monomers are different from this type.
Inhibitors: A product needs to be added to monomers to prevent premature polymerisation, where the molecules prematurely link together into the chain of molecules. If the molecules link too early then the monomer will harden in the bottle. Normally, manufacturers choose hydroquinone (HQ), Hydroquinone monomethyl ether (MEHQ) or butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) for inhibitors.
Catalyst: A catalyst speed up the chemical reaction and allows the product to dry and set in minutes rather than hours. The reaction happens when the liquid contacts the benzoyl peroxide, the activator in the powder. The catalyst determines the speed at which the acrylic sets. Manufacturers can reduce or speed up the setup time through the amount of catalyst added to the formula. They do need to be careful as too much catalkyst can discolour the acrylic and make the product weaker.
Crosslinkers: These are added to a formula to link the strands of molecules together in a 3 dimentional type of web. The crosslinkers strenghten and connect the molecule chains like rungs onf a ladder.
UV Absorbers: These, like their name suggests, interact with UV light. Theya re added to prevent the nails from yellowing. They absorb UV light , which is then converted into harmless blue light. If the nails are over exposed to UV light, the nail could take on a blue glow.
Optional Ingredients: The ingredients below can be added along with the afore mentioned ingredients.
Flow Modifiers: These can be added to cutoimise the products workability to help create an easy, smooth spread.
Wetting Agents: These can be added to improve the smooth spread of the product and improve adhesion to solid surfaces.
Dyes: Some manufacturers add dyes to their liquids to achieve a desired effect. For example, blues act as an optical brightener.