Zinc Stearate is a fine, fluffy, free flowing powder with a slight odour. It is soluble in Benzene but insoluble in Water, Alcohol and Acids. It is the emulsifier in Zinc Oxide and Zinc Sulphate and is used in the manufacture of Paints, Rubber and Cosmetics. It has a wide range of uses and is an excellent alternative to petroleum based lubricants.
Zinc stearate is manufactured through the saponification of liquid stearic acid with zinc oxide at elevated temperatures. It is also produced by the saponification of fatty acids with metal oxides, hydroxides or salts under high pressures. The resulting metal soaps are then precipitated and washed, and dried to produce a powdered product.
The primary use of this chemical is as a heat stabilizer, release agent and lubricant in the polymer industry (grad C PVC stabilisers); as an ingredient in the paint and varnish industry to increase fluidity; in the plastics industry to decrease sticking and to reduce dusting; in the rubber industry to prevent agglomeration and improve vulcanization; and in the powder metallurgy industry to keep dry powders from sticking to each other during molding. It is also used in make-up products such as eye lines, mascaras, lipsticks and powders and in a number of other cosmetics products.
Zinc stearate has been shown to be acutely toxic when injected into the lungs of rats and into the peritoneum of guinea pigs. It produces edema in these animals with subsequent granulomata in the lungs. Zinc distearate has not been shown to be acutely toxic when absorbed through the skin.