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What is Kunipia?
Kunipia is made by purifying a clay called Bentonite. Bentonite, known as the clay with thousand uses, is used in many industrial fields and in everyday life. Its usefulness comes from various characteristics: for example, its volume increases several tens of times by absorbing water, it is highly viscous, prevents water buildups, and is harmless to humans. Kunipia is an easy-to-use product that was developed based on Bentonite's merits.
 
Characteristics of Kunipia
 (1) High viscosity, swelling, and thixotropy
 
 
Montmorillonite readily absorbs water, causing a remarkable increase in its layer spacing. In addition to this very high degree of swelling, montmorillonite has various other characteristics such as caking, thixotropy, cation exchange, and absorbability. However, no chemicals are added to Kunipia, and in its pure form it contains no harmful substances. Also, Kunipia-dispersed water solutions are non-sticky.
 

Kunipia-dispersed solution
 
 
  (2) A safe, non-decaying, stable, inorganic colloid
During measurement      After 24 hours 
Montmorillonite swells with water, and by adjusting the water content of Kunipia, its viscosity can be easily adjusted from a low-viscosity dispersed solution to a hard gel. In addition, Kunipia is not decayed by microorganisms. Kunipia can also intercalate various inorganic and organic substances because it consists of thin particles and has a wide specific surface area and cation exchange.

Measurement
 
  (3) Creation of interlayer compounds with various useful characteristics 。
 
Montmorillonite consists of many layers of microscopically small crystal platelets made of two sheets of silicon tetrahedrons and an intermediate sheet of aluminum octahedrons. When water enters between these layers, the montmorillonite swells up like wet paper. We are now doing groundbreaking studies in which we fill these layers with molecules other than water molecules.

Image from a scanning electron microscope (magnification of 50,000)
 
Applications of Kunipia
  (1) Use in medicinal drugs, cosmetics, and paint
Kunipia, which is compliant with the Japanese Pharmacopoeia's standard "Bentonite" and the cosmetic manufacturing material standard "Bentonite," is used as an emulsion stabilizer and rheology adulterant. Because it is harmless to human health, Kunipia is especially used in drugs and cosmetics. When Kunipia is added to cosmetics, a thin film of water is formed on the surface of the skin, which improves moisture retention, film-formation, and adhesion; stops cosmetics from feeling oily and fatty, and makes the skin smooth. When Kunipia is used in paint, its film-forming property is improved and dripping can be prevented.
 
  (2) Use as a detergent and in liquid agricultural chemicals
Because of its high sorbency, Kunipia is used in cleaning detergents. When montmorillonite is absorbed by cloth, its pliability is improved. The high viscosity of Kunipia-dispersed solutions ensures that the Kunipia particles do not settle out but remain suspended. Also, it is inorganic and therefore is not deteriorated by microorganisms. Consequently, Kunipia is also used in liquid agricultural chemicals that may be stored for a long time. Because Kunipia in its pure form is harmless to humans, it is used in toothpaste. Kunipia is also used in cleaning liquids to prevent dripping,. To prevent the build up of static electricity, it is used in carpet materials.
 
  (3) Creation of new application fields of interlayer effects
New attempts have been made to utilize montmorillonite's thin layer structure and to change its properties by inserting new materials into the layers. For example, gasoline can be produced from methane by using the layer space as a catalyst. Interlayer utilization is a very promising research area, and these new interlayer compounds are expected to greatly expand the usefulness of Kunipia.
 
Product Types and Characteristics of Kunipia
※ Reference values only (not standard values).
Kunipia F
  Viscosity 200〜400mPa.s
  Swelling 45 ml/2 g or more
  pH 10
  Water content 10% or less
  Whiteness 60 or more
  Appearance Fine powder
  Cation exchange 115meq/100g
 
Viscosity: 4%-dispersed solution, BM-type viscometer, 60 rpm25℃
Whiteness: Brightness by Hunter
 
 

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