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In the chemical industry, calcium stearate is a white, nontoxic powder that is insoluble in water. It is a synthetic compound produced by heating stearic acid with calcium oxide. It is also known as E 470 and is an important ingredient in soaps. It is an excellent lubricant and has an exceptionally low toxicity. It can be used as an anti-caking agent in the production of food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. It is also a good stabilizing and thickening agent. It is also used as a lubricant for metals in cold extrusion, cold stamping and cold drawing processes. It is used in plastic coloring agents to improve pigment wetting, as a lubricant in molding and in the construction industry as a foam stabilizer, lubricant and release agent.
In aqueous solution, it is a superior molder and internal lubricant for polyvinyl chloride and can be used as a substitute for magnesium stearate in many applications. It is an effective lubricant for the forming of PVC granules and can reduce die swell in rigid PVC compounds. It is also a good lubricant for foamed cement products and can improve their waterproofing performance.
In addition to these uses, it is also used as a paper lubricant, in stationery items such as pencils and crayons, as a coating for aluminum foil and is an ingredient in some types of defoamers. It is also a component in some types of bactericides.