By embedding hollow glass spheres of different sizes and densities into a matrix of crosslinked sodium polyacrylate, superabsorbent polymers were synthesized using a water-in-oil suspension polymerization. These glass-containing superabsorbents were capable of taking up water not only in form of a swollen polyacrylate gel, but also in form of additional free water between the glass spheres and the surrounding polyacrylate matrix. According to swelling measurements the maximum volume swelling degree of the glass-containing superabsorbents is in certain cases nearly double as large as the value of a superabsorbent without embedded glass spheres. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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