Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Sodium silicate ?

  1. Jun 28, 2009 #1
    does any one know where i can get Sodium silicate or how to make it.
    it is nick named liquid glass and mechanics use it to repair head gasket leaks
    by pouring it in the radiator , and you can't get it at auto parts stores anymore.

    it is (Na2)(Si)(O3)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 29, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    IIRC, I got some a few years back at a fairly ordinary hardware store. It's sold as adhesive/caulking for for stoves/chimneys, their gaskets and similar. It's probably not labelled "sodium silicate" so check the contents on the label. (the one I found was 100% sodium silicate)
  4. Jun 29, 2009 #3
    nice thanks
  5. Jun 29, 2009 #4
    If you want to make it, but it's not exactly easy, you can dissolve glass powder with sodium or potassium hydroxide or carbonate in a suitable container (the best is silver but probably you can also use nickel or nickel-crome metal). You heat to melt the hydroxide or carbonate and wait...
    You could use an acqueous solution instead of the melted chemicals, and heat it, but it's much longer.
  6. Jun 29, 2009 #5
    sweet sounds good.
  7. Jun 29, 2009 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    You don't find sodium silicate around too many places nowadays. The only place where it is still used routinely is in pottery slip. You should be able to find it in any well-stocked pottery supply store.
  8. May 30, 2011 #7
    I have heard that certain engine blocks made of aluminum alloy - especially foreign makes, utilize antifreeze that is specifically low-silicate for the purpose of low abrasion in the water jacket. If you have a head gasket leak, and you have one of these types of engine bolocks, it may prove to be detrimental to add silicates to the coolant. If the situation is desparate, such as being stranded without mechanic support or without resources to accomplish a repair and transportation is vital, I suppose you have no other choice. Otherwise with low risk situations, it is better to go to the nearest auto parts store, purchase a Haynes or Chiltons repair manual, study it, and buy the parts to effect a head-gasket repair. Like any other event , weigh expense of self or mechanic repair versus loss of money by not having the transportation available. If you are mechanically handy, then you might justify the expenditure for extra tools which may be used for other jobs in the future, or be able to be written off in taxes if you have your own registered business.
    Last edited: May 30, 2011
  9. May 30, 2011 #8
    If you are not a professional chemist with access to a professional lab this is not something you should try. It is a about as corrosive to living tissue as anything can get.
  10. Jun 1, 2011 #9


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    You shouldn't use sodium silicate in any system that has aluminum components, IMO. It severely corrodes Al, especially at high temperatures.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook