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In the present study a simple experiment has been performed with the most commonly used and widely available spherical water-gel crystals in the shape of beads. Immersing the beads in sugar solution of variable concentrations the mass of the swallowed beads were measured at regular time intervals. The experimental results so obtained have been explained using an analytical approach. A theoretical model has been developed based on the consideration of water absorption through vacant polymer sites in a highly porous hydro-gel. Considerations of cylindrical and spherical pores in this model predicted almost the same swelling behavior. It has been shown that the characteristic time of growth of the hydro-gels is linearly related with the sugar concentration. Some references have been cited which agree well with the results found in this experiment, thus validating the assumptions made in the analytical model used.
Water absorbing polymer, hydro-gel swelling, sugar solution concentration, characteristic time