science

The Science of Orbeez

Orbeez are superabsorbent polymers—that means they are made of several smaller molecules joined together. With the addition of water they can grow to more than 100 times their volume. That’s right, place a tiny Orbeez bead in water and watch it swell! The water is absorbed into the spaces between the molecules. These polymers were invented for agricultural use back in the 1960s to irrigate crops during times of drought. Today you will find superabsorbent polymers in diapers to prevent leaks, in food packages to absorb liquid and in floral vases to hydrate cut flowers.