Published on Jan 02, 2023
The objective: The objective of my experiment was to determine if common household items such as flour, maseca, gelatin, and cornstarch can be substituted in place of borax in a polymer recipe. If they can, then how much of that item is needed to make a polymer and how does it compare to the original borax polymer..
The materials I needed for my experiment include:
10 large styrofoam cups
10 stirring spoons
5 bottles of Elmer's School Glue(4oz.)
One teaspoon each of flour, Maseca, cornstartch, and gelatin
None of the items that I tested made a polymer that had comparable properties to the borax polymer. None of the test polymers set up like the borax polymer.
They were all thick, white liquids, too viscous to be considered a polymer.
None of my items succeeded in making a polymer similar to the borax polymer. However, maybe if I use a different method or even try different amounts of each material then they might form polymers.
My theory is that maybe the reason that the materials didn't work is because, unlike the borate ions in borax, the other materials don't conatin anything that has the ability to cross-link the polyvinyl acetate molecules inside the glue with the H2O molecules in the water.
These long chain molecules are what give polymers their properties.
This project is to determine if common household materials can be used to construct a polymer with similar properties to a borax polymer.