Investigatory Project Homemade Bouncy Polymer

Topics: Polymer, Natural rubber, Polymer chemistry Pages: 22 (6576 words) Published: August 24, 2013

An Entry for the 2009 DIVISION SCIENCE FAIR



Mr. MARK ANTHONY R. CUA Research Adviser Marcela Marcelo Elementary School Pasay City

October 2009

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION One might think that chemists are a bunch of boring scientists who wear lab coats and look at beakers all day, but did you know that many toys you play with are made using chemistry? Some of your favorite toys like Gak, Slime and Silly Putty started out as chemistry experiments. In fact, some of your favorite toys may have been invented by chemists who work for toy companies like: Crayola, Play-Doh or Mattell. Chemistry is the study of matter, and how different elements of matter interact. There are many different kids of matter, which need to be described using the concept of properties. Toys like silly putty are unique because of they have distinct properties that are different from the properties of other types of matter. There are two different kinds of properties, chemical properties and physical properties. Chemical properties are qualities that can be observed during a chemical reaction, like when vinegar reacts with baking soda. Physical properties are qualities that can be observed during physical change in the absence of a chemical reaction, like the melting of an ice cube. Physical properties can be used to describe the state of a chemical, which can be a solid, liquid or a gas. The physical and chemical properties of Silly Putty are what make it so much fun because it is a polymer that is stretchy and bouncy! Scientists use properties to describe all of the unique qualities of a chemical or a mixture of chemicals. To do this they use descriptive language, or words that are used to describe objects. Some descriptive words used to describe a chemical might be: hot, cold, squishy, hard, soft, crystalline, granular, smooth, liquid, clear, 2

opaque, and runny. There are many different qualities to be described. You just need to find the right words to use. The unique physical and chemical properties of a polymer or mixture can be changed by the amount of each different ingredient used to make them. Sometimes the amount of one ingredient compared to the amount of another ingredient can make a big difference. This is called a ratio, and a ratio can be useful to know how much of each ingredient to add to your mixture so you will end up with a mixture that has desirable properties. RATIONALE Balls have been toys practically forever, but the bouncing ball is a more recent innovation. Bouncing balls were originally made from natural rubber, though now bouncing balls can be made of plastics and other polymers. In this researcher, the bouncing ball is made from a polymer. Polymers are molecules made up of repeating chemical units. The researchers will change the ratio of two basic ingredients in homemade Silly Putty. They will describe the physical properties of each different mixture using a data table. Then they will choose the ratio of ingredients to create the best putty product. The use of bouncing polymer in science education provides number of advantages. One can use it to describe the chemical and physical properties of the mixtures. It can also be used to describe potential and kinetic energy. It can also demonstrate the Law of Conservation of Energy and Newton’s Third Law of Motion – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The researcher would like to find out which is the best ratio of the two basic ingredients in homemade Silly Putty that would produce better and higher bounce. 3

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY The main purpose of this research project is to come up with the best silly putty product. Specifically, it attempts to answer the following objectives: 1. To evaluate the physical properties of the polymer balls; 2. To describe the...
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