Advantages And Disadvantages Of Surfactants

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The active ingredient in most cleaning materials is called the surface-active agent or surfactant. Many types of surfactants exist, but their action in the cleaning process is fundamental the same for all types of surfactants. Oil-based dirt has to be cleaned from a surface. The cleaning process can be though to occur in three stages, which are: a) Removal of the oil from the surface, b) Prevention of the oil from re-depositing on to the surface and c) Dispersion of the oil in the cleaning solution leading to its removal during rinsing. The structure of typical surfactants can be described as tadpole-shaped with a hydrophilic head (water loving/water soluble) and a hydrophobic tail (water hating/fat soluble). Reduction of surface tension…show more content…
40 - 50 Filler 25 - 10 Surfactant system 15 - 20 Bleach and/or enzyme preparation These are considered together because they both perform a similar function - removing stains, which the other ingredients would find difficult to deal with. The most commonly used bleaching agent is sodium perborate. It is oxidizing bleach, removing stain such as tea, coffee and fruit juice. It acts at temperatures above 600C. A number of detergents incorporate an enzyme preparation which digest protein. Enzymes are active between 10oC and 60oC and so are ideal for pre-wash soaking. At high temperatures the enzymes are inactivated. Anti-redepositing agent Once dirt has been removed from a washed load then it is possible that some of the dirt suspended in the solution will redeposit on to the fabric. The result would be a graying of the surface. Optical…show more content…
Feldspar, calcite, dolomite are commonly used in abrasive products. The mineral powder assists in the physical removal of grease and other soiling from the surface. Abrasives are classified according to their hardness on a scale where diamond is 10 and talc is 1. This scale is called Moh's hardness scale. A material with hardness 7 will be able to scratch any surface with a value below 7 and can be scratched by any material on the scale above 7. Moh's hardness scale Material Hardness number Comments Diamond 10 Corundum 9 Topaz 8 Quartz 7 Metals such as aluminum and copper are softer Feldspar 6 Hardest mineral commonly used in cleaners Apatite 5 Fluorite 4 Calcite 3 Mild abrasive in common use Gypsum. 2 Talc 1 Chlorinated bleaches -These have been found to improve the cleaning power of hard surface cleaners. This is because they have good oxidizing properties, which can remove stains and react with all forms of organic matter, such as grease/oil films and food particles. They have also good disinfectant

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