bounce into polymer science

Polymer illustrations

Learn about the exciting applications of polymers – the secret ingredient to most toys – and make your own bouncy ball!

  • Making A Bouncy Ball – bounced over a foot high and the ball has quite a unique feel to it – Borax (found in laundry section), warm water, corn starch, glue, food coloring (optional)

Polymers

  • glue – polyvinyl acetate
  • borate – crosslinking agent / connector
  • liquid – long molecules slide past each other – flow
  • elastomer – long molecules stick together at a few places along the strand – rubbery solid

Boron

  • element

Borates

  • Borates are minerals containing boron, the fifth element on Periodic Table.
  • Trace amounts of borates exist in rock, soil, water, plants and people.
  • Boron-containing ores are among the rarest minerals in the world.
  • Borates are essential micronutrients for plants, and part of a healthy human diet.
  • A variety of household and commercial products contain borates.

News, updates

Learn more…

  • Goo – glue, borax – explanation – Glue with Borax and water produces a putty-like material called a polymer. In simplest terms, a polymer is a long chain of molecules. If the long molecules slide past each other easily, then the substance acts like a liquid because the molecules flow. If the molecules stick together at a few places along the strand, then the substance behaves like a rubbery solid called an elastomer. Borax is the compound that is responsible for hooking the glue’s molecules together to form the putty-like material.
  • How do glue and borax chemically react to make “goo”? – The borax is acting as the crosslinking agent or “connector” for the glue (polyvinyl acetate) molecules. Once the glue molecules join together to form even larger molecules called polymers, you get a thickened gel.
  • spaghetti example