Stearic acid is a saturated fatty acid with an 18 carbon chain, and can be derived from both vegetable and tallow sources. Stearic acid and its derivatives are commonly used as components of cosmetic, food, and industrial products. Esters derived from stearic acid are found in many soaps and detergents, and stearic acid salts are often used as lubricating or softening agents in industrial applications. Stearic Acid acts as an activator, accelerator, lubricant, and mold release agent for rubber processing. In other plastic applications it also mold release agent and lubricant. In PVC processing, it is a viscosity depressant as well as and internal and external lubricant.
Stearic acid comes in a variety of different types and grade designations, including tech and USP kosher, in bead, flake, powder or liquid forms.