Sodium metasilicate, sometimes known as water glass or liquid glass, is one of the compounds that can be commonly referred to as sodium silicate. This compound can be found in both liquid-like and solid forms and is made by bringing sodium carbonate and silicon dioxide to a molten state. A byproduct of this reaction is carbon dioxide. Pure compositions are white or colorless, but can sometimes be blue or green if it has iron impurities.
This adaptable compound has a wide variety of applications. It is used in vehicles, passive fire resistance, cement, adhesives, water treatments and much more. In the textile industry, it is used as a fixative for reactive dyes that need a high pH level. For metal repairs, typically for mufflers, sodium silicate and magnesium silicate are combined to make a paste. When heated, excess water is dried off, leaving a temporary, brittle repair. Because of the way this compound reacts to other chemicals, it can be used in nearly any industry.