Behavior in solution
The polymer dissolves readily in water to form a brilliantly clear, thixotrophic solution having a soft gel-like character, even at concentrations as low as 0.25%. pH is 6-7. Viscousity has a local maximum at 1.5% and a local minimum at 3%. The lowered viscousity between 1.5 and 5.0% is believed to result from the mutual neutralization of the charges on neighboring polyions by the associated potassium ions. The viscousity is very sensitive to inorganic salts, the effect depends on the salt, but in general viscousity decrease when adding a salt. The lowered viscousity is a result of the neutralization of the charges on the polyion by counterions of an inorganic salt. Borax at low concentrations produces the typical salt effect, but at higher concentrations, the cross-linking and complexing properties become predominant. As viscousity increases, the solution changes progressively to ropy solutions, then cohesive gels and finally to dry-looking friable gels, which reform slowly after having been broke up. Heat will permanently reduce the viscousity of the solution .
The polymer forms water-insoluble precipitates with quaternary ammonium salts as would be expected by a polyanion. The phosphate permits the formation of complexes with metals, derivatives of alcohol, bases and related substances .