Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sodium Silicate Polymer Lab

Problem: what will the sodium silicate and ethanol combine to make?

Hypothesis: If the sodium silicate is combined with the ethanol, then it will make a bouncy solid.

12mL sodium silicate 3mL Ethyl Alchohol (ethanol) 150 mL beaker
250 mL beaker Stirring rod Paper towels
Safety goggles

Procedure: pour 12mL of sodium silicate into the 250mL beaker DO NOT LET THE SODIUM SILICATE COME IN CONTACT WITH SKIN!! Pour 3mL of ethanol into the 150mL beaker (alchol is flammable be careful). Slowly pour the ethanol into the beaker containing the sodium silicate. Use the stirring rod to stir the mixture until the liquids turn into solids. Gently roll the polymer into the shape of a ball.

Conclusion: I partially accepted my hypothesis of the two ingredients combining to make a bouncy solid. It did create a substance, though when I bounced it, it shattered (:( :( sad face) The part of the hypothesis that was incorrect probably due to the ball drying out. I gained experience in polymers. How to make them and how they work. It also showed they variation in polymers. This one was starkly contrasting to the last polymer we made. The strength of the polymer can be tested by adding weights of increasing weight until the polymer breaks.