Super Absorbent Polymers
Posted 17 January 2008 - 03:06 AM
Previous threads on the subject:
Q. What are Super Absorbent Polymers?
A. Super Absorbent Polymers or SAPs are crystals that expand and form a jelly like substance when they come into contact with water. Their ability to absorb water is phenomenal. SAPs expand as they absorb moisture to several times their original diameter.
Q. Are Super Absorbent Polymers like Humidification Beads?
A. No. Beads have a set humidification point. SAPs do not. Beads are designed to regulate humidity, while SAPs continue to give off moisture all the time.
Q. Why would I want to mess with this stuff if itís not as simple to use as Beads?
A. The ideal usage for SAPs is as an alternative for floral foam. Foam tends to wear out and it can become quite expensive to buy replacement cartridges. SAPs do not wear out. They retain more moisture than the typical floral foam that comes prepackaged in a hydra or cigar oasis cartridge. SAPs are cheap and a small amount will last you a lifetime.
Q. Do I have to have a Cigar Oasis or a Hydra to use SAPs in my humidor?
A. The simple answer is yes. SAPs can be used in travel humidors as a substitute for floral foam, but it is not recommend that you use them in your humidor. The reason why SAPs work so well in conjunction with a Cigar Oasis or Hydra is because both of these devices require active electronic humidification to work. (i.e. a fan must turn to spread and regulate humidity).
Q. Mold was a constant issue in my floral foam cartridge. Will this solve the problem?
A. Not on its own. SAPs are just as prone to mold growth as the floral foam, but it is much easier to control and monitor. Every so often, add a cap full of 100 proof vodka to prevent mold growth. PG solution will work as well.
Q. How often will I have to refill SAPs?
A. SAPs hold much more moisture than typical floral foam found in your cartridge. Most people use a spray bottle when they need to re-hydrate them.
Q. Can I use tap water with SAPs?
A. Possibly, but itís recommended to use distilled water
Q. Where can I get Super Absorbent Polymers?
A. A company called Watersorb currently sells SAPs. The minimum order is 2 pounds for $18 shipped via USPS priority mail.
Q. What amount of SAPs do I need to fill a cartridge?
A. Very little. SAPs expand massively. A little over a standard tablespoon of hydrated SAPs should be more than enough to fill a cartridge.
Pictorial of the process.
You will need:
A measuring cup
A mixing container
First, wash everything. Try not to handle the SAPs with your hands as you donít want to contaminate them and be the source of a mold outbreak. Measure out a small amount of SAPs, no more than a tablespoon or two into your container.
Add about 1 cup of distilled water to start.
The above picture shows SAPs first introduced to water.
The above picture shows SAPs after 30 minutes submerged in distilled water. I slowly added more distilled water until I had poured a total of two cups into the bowl.
The above picture shows SAPs hydrated for about 4 hours. They are now ready to go into the hydra cartridge.
Remove the floral foam with a knife. This took me under five minutes. After you have removed all the foam wash out the cartridge with hot soapy water and let sit until dry. Check the inside to make sure no foam remains. WARNING: Removing the floral foam from your hydra will most likely void the warranty. If something breaks on your unit, then it maybe smart to order a replacement foam cartridge for $12 to ship with the unit so you donít void the warranty.
I used a spoon and added the hydrated SAPs to the cartridge. I had to pack them in toward the end so all of them could fit. *Quarter and knife used for scale.
This was very simple to do. This is a low cost and low maintenance way to augment your hydra humidification system.
* Hydra review to follow.
Posted 17 January 2008 - 07:07 AM
Read your article it seems like it could be
Posted 17 January 2008 - 08:29 AM
Posted 17 January 2008 - 09:09 AM
The only thing I can add is that superabsorbent polymers are a class of materials found in many products. In fact, diapers (from infant models to adult incontinence underpants) are filled with this stuff which is typically cross-linked polyvinylacrylate/pv-alcohol/cellulose. Just for fun, I've held a diaper under the tap to see how much water it can hold and was amazed. When I tore open the full diaper, it was brimming with swollen, jelly-like beads of the SAP. Recently, a diaper had fallen into the laundry pile and I washed it along with the baby clothse. Of course the thing broke open and the clothes and washing machine were littered with the little beads.
Edited by Ginseng, 17 January 2008 - 09:12 AM.
Posted 18 January 2008 - 02:00 AM
Posted 16 February 2008 - 08:01 AM
Posted 08 March 2008 - 08:18 PM
Posted 03 April 2008 - 02:53 AM
How often do I need to drink the Stolis? And a cap full sounds a bit stingy to my way of thinking!
Thanks for the info!
Posted 17 April 2009 - 07:03 PM
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