Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Polymer Lab Group Investigation

We mixed glue, water, yellow food coloring, and ethanol. Then on the side, borax and the sodium silicate were combined. It is amazing how changing the order and ingredients could change the experiment all together. I mean, we used the similar amounts and the same ingredients, but they there ultimately added together, in the end. The result of our experiment looks like a cross between brains and scrambled eggs. I was not expecting this. I thought that by combining the two experiments, that it would be a fusion of the two end results: a hard core (for the sodium silicate experiment) and a “squishy” body (for the glue experiment.) I was shocked by the results of the lab. I thought that it was weird that the 75 mL of glue did not make the solution sticky, I thought it would. The borax did not dissolve all the way, which made the ending result feel grainy (we added 3 mL to start). I feel like we added too much.

The components and chemicals in the yellow food dye did not really effect the results, so to me, it was deemed unnecessary. It did however added to the effect that the solution looked like scrambled eggs. The solution mixture was very thin, and liquid based. I thought that by adding a tablespoon of Borax, that the solution would thicken. It did. We added another tablespoon (5 tablespoons total) because the solution was little a little runny. This was a little too much, because the borax would not dissolve. We stopped stirring, before the borax was able to. When we tried the rebound test, all the solution did was flop on the table. This happened for each of the trials, so the rebound was 0 cm. The first time we dropped it from 30 cm, there was a small explosion of borax and a small amount of ethanol.

We torn off a chunk, to see if maybe a smaller amount would at least get a rebound. It worked, but it only got to a few centimeters. We froze the smaller piece in a glass beaker, and with the larger one, we chilled it in the refrigerator. We removed the large solution 15 minutes after. There was a small round, but too small to be able to measure. I think that this was due to the heat the hands provide. One of the ways that heat escapes the body is through the hands, so the “chill” heated up. My fellow group members were playing with it in their hands, before the rebound test was completed. We took to the smaller piece out of the freezer, 20 minutes later. It had a surprising rebound, averaging 6-7 centimeters.

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