In chemistry projects, we can learn about polymers as certain types of molecules. In doing this, we will be making slime through combination of glue and liquid starch along with water.
When thinking of slime, one usually thinks about toxic wastes mentioned in comic books and movies generally represented as electric green liquids that ooze out from barrels in a dump. However, do anyone ponder of making slime in their home. First of all, no one should worry as it is not the toxic versions that are being attempted here that might turn pet turtles into monsters but instead funny versions which can add food colouring as well as glitter too. Since it is science that is being dealt with, one is also able to learn chemical principles which act as enablers for turning the general household items like glues as also liquid starch into amazing compounds which compose of properties of both solids as well as liquids or slime.
When the slime is very sloppy, one needs to keep adding higher amounts of liquid starch. If the slime turns very thick, simply adding more water in the glue can make it thinner.
How does it happen
Liquid glues are polymers, or long molecules comprising of successive units of the single molecule known as monomer. There can be both synthetic as also natural polymers. As an example, wool refers to natural polymers whereas all kinds of plastics are the synthetic polymers. The craft glues that are used are called polyvinyl alcohols or PVAs and is composed of successive molecules of vinyl alcohols. One should be comparing polymers with LEGO toys and imagine if there were 100 such LEGO bricks. A single LEGO brick here is the monomer. When considering all LEGO bricks together forming the chain, there is the polymer.
Glue refers to liquid polymers, which means long PVA chains are not linked together. There can exist hundreds of these chains in glues mixed among water molecules, yet they are sticking together. The water lets PVA chains in sliding past on another, that turns the glue into sticky liquids.
Slime has always been popular toys among kids and adults alike who love making them as also playing with them as it is so satisfying in squishing and stretching these slimes.
However, there is a problem with slime when borax is being used in the process. Borax is a laundry additive and though people do not always encounter issues with it, many are starting to report burns from these kinds of slimes. People are also questioning the safety of borax-based recipes when they are to be used by children. People having sensitive skins may also experience irritations. As a result, the recipes of slime here are ensured to be borax-free ones. Another problem is that, majority of the ‘borax-free’ recipes available on internet in actuality still uses borax. After a thorough research, it was found these majority of these borax-free recipes include liquid starch or liquid laundry detergent. Through a quick search of the labels and websites of several manufacturers it could be concluded that many detergents as well as starches can contain borax, sometimes even listed by their scientific name that is sodium tetraborate decahydrate.
Now, through testing of alternate methods, three truly borax-free recipes without involving any liquid starch or detergent could be known. Two of these recipes can create what can be called a ‘fluffy’ slime or slimes that have certain airiness in them and can seem to be dough like. Another is rather a traditional one having a lot of stretching to it.
A simple recipe can be customized in several ways for making different variations of fluffy slimes. Addition of more water can make this wet and stretchy a slime and several polystyrene beads can make the slime popping and glittering for example the unicorn slime.
For making these slimes, one needs shampoos of any kind, though it is better to get the thicker ones as also corn-starch. The process is as follows
If the slime is still found to be sticky, it should be kneaded further while also adding corn-starch to this slime. Kneading needs to be performed as long as one obtains a decent consistency. It is to be known that as long as one ends up with semi-hard, moist, semi-stretchy light and dough like slimes, the recipe has been done right.
The next recipe is for a slime called volcano slime as it reacts with heat. After make it, one can insert it in microwave for 20 seconds and it is enough to melt the solution into a lava like state. When cooled, it regains back the fluffy form.
For this one needs white school glues and corn-starch for fluffy volcano slimes. The process is given below:
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