Silly Putty Sand Toy Acts Like Dough, Takes Any Shape: Does ‘Kinetic Sand’ Have Any Other Applications?

By Philip Ross on September 20, 2013 5:23 PM EDT

kinetic sand
A new toy that acts much like Silly Putty but is 98 percent sand could have applications for people with hand injuries or stress. (Photo: YouTube/Screenshot)

Silly Putty sand could be coming to a toy store near you. The malleable sand, which contains the same ingredient in it as its more famous predecessor, acts a lot like dough, and can be shaped, twisted, sliced, tossed and prodded until your fingers are black and blue.

Silly Putty sand is the brainchild of a Sweden-based arts and crafts company called Delta of Sweden. They call it Deltasand, but have sold the license to several toymakers who will probably change its name. One notable toy company now selling Silly Putty sand is Colorado-based WABA Fun. They've decided to call it Kinetic Sand.

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A video produced by WABA Fun demonstrates how the Kinetic Sand works. According to the video, uploaded to YouTube, the Silly Putty sand will never dry out, and is naturally antimicrobial. It's also gluten free, for those of you who plan on snacking on it.

What gives Kinetic Sand, which is actually 98 percent silicon dioxide (a fancy word for sand), its malleable form? It has polydimethyl siloxane, or PDMS, in it. PDMS belongs to a group of polymeric organosilicon compounds and is most notably used as an anti-foaming agent in industrial process liquids.

But if you've ever held Silly Putty in your hand, you know what PDMS is. Or, as Core 77 notes, if you've ever eaten chicken nuggets at McDonald's or Wendy's, you've encountered it there, too. The fast-food chains use it to, we're assuming, keep the chicken nuggets from foaming.

And according to the Kinetic Sand safety data sheet, if you swallow it, there's "No need for first aid."

"Playing with Kinetic Sand is a magical and mesmerizing experience, giving a moment of relaxation for both young and old," the company states on its product page. But does it have any applications outside the fun category?

Depending on how resistant the material is (we haven't played with it yet), physical therapists could use it as a rehabilitate therapy tool for hand injuries. It could also be used to reduce stress.

Apollo astronauts also used Silly Putty as an adhesive in zero-gravity. Maybe Kinetic Sand is next?

Read more from iScience Times:

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'Living Battery' Uses Exoelectrogenic Microbes To Turn Sewage Into Energy [STUDY]

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