Well, looking at the structure, the definition of a base is a substance that produces hydroxide radicals (OH-). When mixed with water, this compound probably dissociates into sodium ions (Na+) , hydroxide ions (OH-), and gives off carbon dioxide gas (CO2). If you discount the carbon dioxide gas, you are left with sodium ions and hydroxide ions ( Na+ and OH-), which is what you have when you mix sodium hydroxide with water. Sodium hydroxide is classified as a strong base, capable of delivering pH of 12 to 13, which is the base indicator side of the pH scale. Sodium hydroxide has a slippery feel to it, as most bases do, and is the principle ingredient in drain openers such as Liquid Plumber and Drano. Strong bases are capable of dissolving oils and grease which clog drains and cause water in interior plumbing to back up.