Home | News

latest news & updates

Stay up to date with the latest news releases and publications

An Exploration Into The World Of Metallic Soaps

A glimpse at metallic soaps


Metallic soaps, commonly referred to as metal soaps, are adaptable substances utilized across multiple industries. These compounds are formed through several chemical reactions. Due to the diverse industrial landscape, metallic soaps have become notably valuable in various sectors. Let’s have a glance at the different aspects of it in this blog.

A Quick Look At Metallic Soaps

Metallic soaps, also known as metal carboxylates or fatty acid metal salts, are compounds derived from the reaction between a metal oxide or hydroxide and a fatty acid. These compounds typically exhibit a soap-like appearance and possess distinct chemical properties due to the amalgamation of metal ions with long-chain fatty acids.

Common metals utilized in metallic soaps encompass zinc, calcium, magnesium, aluminum, and copper. Fatty acids such as stearic acid, oleic acid, and palmitic acid are frequently employed in the synthesis of metallic soaps. The resulting compounds vary in their physical and chemical traits, contingent upon the metal and fatty acids utilized in their production.

The Process Of Manufacturing 

Solid-liquid reactions stand as a crucial category within chemical reactions. These often necessitate bringing the solid or solids into intensive contact with liquid retaining agents to achieve quantitative conversion in the shortest time possible. In the upcoming discussion, we will delve deeper into the production process of metallic soaps.

Metallic soaps are produced by combining long-chain fatty acids with a metal oxide or hydroxide, constituting a conventional acid-base reaction. These fatty acids are commonly sourced from plant-based fats or oils. Among the most crucial types of metallic soaps are metallic stearates, which find widespread use across various industries.

Calcium stearate, zinc stearate or magnesium stearate, to name just a few, are used as lubricants and parting agents, stabilizers or hydrophobing agents.

The process of manufacturing metallic soaps
Zinc stearate, a chemical compound classified as a metallic soap

The metallic soap composition is created through a process comprising at least a partial saponification of a mixture of an oil and a metal compound. The oil can be chosen from metathesized natural oil, hydrogenated metathesized natural oil, hydrogenated natural oil, natural oil, or combinations thereof. Meanwhile, the metal compound may consist of metal oxides, metal hydroxides, metal carbonates, metal alkoxides, or combinations thereof.

Another aspect is a metallic soap composition generated through a process involving at least a partial saponification of a mixture of oil comprising up to approximately  100% by weight of a metathesized natural oil, along with a metal hydroxide.

The process involves several steps. Initially, the oil is heated and purged in a reactor within a nitrogenous atmosphere, typically at a temperature ranging from approximately 95°C to 105°C. Subsequently, the mixture of the oil and the metal hydroxide is heated and purged in the same reactor, at a temperature between about 290 °C to about 310 °C, still under the nitrogenous atmosphere.

The reaction mixture is removed from the reactor and cooled to obtain said metallic soap composition.

Explore about PVC Stabilizers

Properties Of Metallic Soaps

It’s important to understand the foundational characteristics that define this compound. Let’s give it a look:

  • Stabilizing Agents: Metallic soaps such as calcium stearates are widely recognized for their role as stabilizing agents in various industries. Particularly in the polymer sector, they serve as heat stabilizers, augmenting the overall performance of plastics throughout manufacturing and application processes.
  • Hydrophobic Properties: Being water-repellent in nature metallic soaps such as zinc stearates and Calcium stearate are hydrophobic. They serve as valuable additives in paints, coatings, and construction chemicals, contributing to superior dispersion and enhancing moisture resistance in final products.
  • Catalysts: Certain metallic soaps also function as catalysts in polymerization reactions, facilitating the formation of polymers utilized in textiles, adhesives, and various other applications.

Applications Of Metallic Soaps

Metallic soaps serve as indispensable components across a wide array of industries, exerting a significant influence on various aspects of production and product performance. Their versatility and multifaceted applications underscore their crucial role in shaping the functionality and efficacy of materials utilized in diverse sectors.

Plastics and Polymers

Within the plastics industry, metallic soaps are utilized as heat stabilizers, enhancing the durability and thermal resistance of plastic items. Additionally, they play a crucial role in extrusion processes, facilitating the manufacture of superior-quality plastic components.

Paints and Coatings

Metallic soaps find extensive application in paints and coatings, where they serve various purposes such as enhancing durability, improving weather resistance, and providing corrosion protection. These compounds act as additives to modify the properties of the paint or coating, ensuring better adhesion, dispersion, and overall performance.

Additionally, metallic soaps can impart specific characteristics like gloss, hardness, and scratch resistance, making them indispensable in formulations for both industrial and decorative purposes.

Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics

In pharmaceutical industries, metallic soaps serve as effective releasing agents, aiding in the production process. Similarly, in the realm of cosmetics, these compounds contribute to the attainment of desired textures in various products such as creams, ointments, and lotions, playing a crucial role in formulation.

Textiles and Leather

In the textile industry, metallic soaps assist in dyeing and printing processes, aiding color dispersion and fixation. They also contribute to the softness and durability of leather products.

The Recent Market Overview

The Metallic Soaps industry is a vast and diverse sector that plays a critical role in various other industries, including manufacturing, construction, pharmaceuticals, automotive, and consumer goods. It encompasses a wide range of products, such as industrial chemicals, polymers, plastics, specialty chemicals, paints and coatings, adhesives, metals, ceramics, and composites.

The metallic soap market stands as one of the largest and fastest-growing industries worldwide. This growth is propelled by factors such as population growth, urbanization, industrial expansion, and advancements in technology.

The market is anticipated to grow substantially
The market is anticipated to grow substantially

The global metallic soaps market is expected to experience significant growth during the forecast period from 2022 to 2030. In 2021, the market grew, and with the increasing adoption of strategies by key players, it is projected to continue growing in the foreseeable future.

Specifically, in 2022, the global metallic soaps market was valued at US$ 2697.90 million. By 2029, it is projected to reach US$ 3712.50 million, reflecting a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.73% during the forecast period from 2023 to 2029. It’s worth noting that the estimations of market sizes took into account the influence of factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine War.

The North American market for metallic soaps is forecasted to grow from US$ 471.64 million in 2023 to approximately US$ 598.56 million by 2029. This growth represents a CAGR of 4.05% during the forecast period, from 2023 to 2029.

The European market for metallic soaps is anticipated to grow from US$ 594.30 million in 2023 to approximately US$ 758.75 million by 2029. This growth is expected to occur at a CAGR of 4.16% during the same forecast period.

The Chinese market for metallic soaps is projected to grow from US$ 850.60 million in 2023 to approximately US$ 1141.33 million by 2029. This growth is expected to occur at a CAGR of 5.02%.

Refer to data here

Related Environmental Issues 

While metallic soaps offer numerous benefits in terms of performance and functionality, there are also considerations regarding their environmental impact and sustainability. The use of certain metals and fatty acids in metallic soap formulations may raise concerns about toxicity, bioaccumulation, and biodegradability.

Efforts are underway to develop alternative formulations using eco-friendly materials and renewable resources. Organic-based stabilizers and bio-derived fatty acids are being explored as substitutes for traditional metallic soaps, offering comparable performance while minimizing environmental risks.

Furthermore, advances in recycling technologies and waste management practices aim to reduce the environmental footprint associated with the production and disposal of metallic soap-containing products. By implementing sustainable practices and adopting greener alternatives, the industry can mitigate the environmental impact of metallic soap usage.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, metallic soaps represent a fascinating class of compounds with a wide range of uses and interesting characteristics. From their role as stabilizers in plastics to their use as emulsifiers in cosmetics, they significantly contribute to the functionality and quality of modern materials and goods.

With increasing emphasis on sustainability and eco-friendly solutions, the development of greener alternatives and the adoption of environmentally responsible practices will continue to shape the future of metallic soap technology.


check out our products

articles on the same topic

Discuss your needs with our specialists!

We'll address your questions about our products, markets, prices, and other services.

Contact us arrow right
Scroll to Top