|MadSci Network: Chemistry|
I previously submitted the attached question and was told a similar answer
already existed on your site. Thanks for your reply. I have checked all
the places you suggested. I now
know typical ingredients, what keeps it from chipping, what makes polish
and what makes up a fingernail. I also saw that nails get dry because the
solvent in them evaporates. What I don't understand is which ingredients
the solvent, and why some evaporate or dry faster than other brands. Can
please help me with this, or tell me where to look to find the answer?
A solvent is the liquid in which the resins and pigments are dissolved or suspended. Nail polish, or any other paint, flows because of the solvent. Since once it's applied you don't want it to flow any more, you want the solvent to go away as quickly as possible.
This can be done in two ways.
It may be that someone has invented a way to make nail polish set on exposure to keratin (the protein in fingernails); if so, that would be pretty neat. But I doubt it. Quick-drying polish is most likely a function of
Incidentally, you may want to make sure you are controlling for film thickness when you do your tests; there are a number of ways to do this which are used in the coatings industry, and which I will be happy to explain if you contact me. My initial guess is that, if you control for thickness, you'll find that the polishes dry at about the same rate but some will "cover" better than others (they'll be less transparent).
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Chemistry.