Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is a white crystalline or granular solid that in water is highly soluble where it produces an alkaline solution. It is mostly found in powder form and may also be referred to as sodium phosphate or trisodium orthophospate.
The majority of the use for tri sodium phosphate is in cleaning agents. The ph is 12 for a 1% solution, which makes it enough alkaline to separate oils and grease. TSP is excellent as a cleaning agent, anything from laundry to a concrete driveway. Due to ecological reasons and government regulations, trisodium phosphate is used less than before.
Some of the uses for trisodium phospates are:
- painting enhancement – cleaning, deglossing and degreasing before painting
- flux – used in medical grade copper plumbing for hard soldering joints by applying as a concentrated water solution where dissolving copper oxides in copper brazing at the temperature used. Residues in the plumbing are fully water soluble which can be rinsed out before putting into use. As an ingredient in a flux, designed to deoxygenate a casting’s nonferrous metals. Also used to lower the flow point of glazes in ceramic production.
- food additive – in a variety of food products is approved and used as an acidity regulator in EU and other countries.
- exercise performance enhancement – as a nutritional supplement to improve performance of specific exercise areas.
Besides trisodium phosphate, there are many chemicals that are similar which are included in the generic term of phosphates, that are used as pH buffers, cleaners, detergents, surfactants, food preservatives, emulsifiers and food grade acidifiers.