Polymers: Polyvinyl Acetate and Polymer Ball

Topics: Polyvinyl acetate, Chemical substance, Polymer Pages: 4 (1594 words) Published: July 24, 2013
Investigating the effectivness of PVA and PVAc as base polymers In the production of a polymer ball.

Introduction

A monomer refers to a specific group of atoms that from a molecular unit. When monomers are strung together like a long chain they form polymers. A good analogy of polymers, would be long connections of chains which become tangled like a bunch of spaghetti in a pot. The reason for experimenting with, and understanding polymers is because they play such a major roll and are found in many other molecules that make up life. Important facts about polymers are they have the highest molecular weight amongst molecules, and may consist of millions of atoms. Human DNA is a polymer consisting of over 20 billion component atoms, and they are regarded as the largest and most diverse category of known molecules. The objective was to ultimately understand how different kinds of polymer substances interact with each other, and the specific amounts needed to produce a bouncing ball. Although bouncing balls are made of all types of polymers, we wanted to test to see if it could be made out of these specific solutions. We mixed and omitted combinations of PVA, PVAc, Borax( which is responsible for crosslinking) and cornstarch, in order to try and create a bouncing ball that is non-toxic, eco-friendly and comprised of polymers. The overall outcome or goal in this experiment, was to evaluate which chemical combinations yielded the best attempts at producing a polymer ball that bounced and why.

Figure 1: Schematic illustration of how a polymer is formed. Second illustration is polymer found in white glue.

Methods
PVA and Borax mixture.
The experiment was performed in the chemistry lab at the University of South Florida. The beakers were labeled so that there was no confusion. One PVAc solution, and the other PVA. We wanted to be extra careful when we used Borax and PVAc as both solutions were clear which if weren’t labeled would be very...

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"What Are Polymers?" WiseGEEK. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2013.
http://www.wisegeek.org/what-are-polymers.htm
"What Is a Polymer?" What Is a Polymer? N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2013
http://pslc.ws/macrog/kidsmac/basics.htm
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