Bouncy Ball

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  • Topic: Polyvinyl alcohol, Polyvinyl acetate, Ratio
  • Pages : 4 (1150 words )
  • Download(s) : 427
  • Published : February 25, 2013
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Investigating the Ratio Between Poly-Vinyl Alcohol and Sodium Borate to form a Bouncing Ball

Timothy English

Gen. Chem. 1 Lab

Section: 009


Poly-Vinyl Alcohol (PVA) is a water-soluble synthetic polymer that will be used as one element to form the well know bouncing ball, along with Sodium Borate (borax), which has a variety of uses because of its weak base. PVA is ideal for this experiment because it is odorless, nontoxic, has high tensile strength and flexibility. The binder characteristics of PVA offer excellent adhesion to porous, water-absorbent surfaces. A local manufacturer wants to find a material to create a simple toy: a bouncing ball. Research institutions collaborate with local manufacturers and provide professional assistance with their projects. In trying to create a bouncing ball, one must find the appropriate ratio of the two that forms a solid for which have the properties that a bouncing ball consist. It is important that we find the correct ratio so that it is perfect shape, texture, and saltation. The main property that we are testing for is the products bounciness.

Figure 1: The reaction of PVA and borax.

In the above illustration, two PVA molecules are shown being cross-linked by a hydrated borax molecule. Four molecules of water are also produced. Hypothesis: In this experiment, I predict that if more Poly-vinyl Alcohol over Sodium Borate, then the appropriate bouncing solid will be formed.


With the supplied solutions of PVA and sodium borate, my group and I took 100 mL of each solution. We measured out different ratios repeatedly to find the appropriate ratio. Start with a happy medium of 10mL (PVA) and 20mL (Sodium Borate) and examined the results. The results are not accurate so you have to test the extremes and then examine which way to continue. In my experiment, more of PVA is needed and less of sodium borate is needed. Continue testing until you get closer and closer to an adequate...
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