Laboratory- Polymer Synthesis, Analysis and Comparison

Purpose: Prepare cross-linked polymers using sodium borate, compare the physical properties of prepared polymers, analyze the variations in structure, and evaluate the properties of the polymers. Introduction: Polymers are chains of macromolecules formed by the union of five or more identical combining units (monomers). A cross-linking agent can be added to enhance a polymer’s characteristics. For example, natural rubber (polymer) and sulfur (cross linker) heated together allows the rubber to remain firm and elastic at high temperatures. In this laboratory activity, you will evaluate how the crosslinking reaction of sodium borate affects certain physical characteristics of the two polymers described in the Information Table. Polyvinyl alcohol has hydroxyl groups attached to the main polymer chain, so it can link to the borate ion. Following linkage, most of the lattice structure is filled with water molecules, and the carbon-to-oxygen-to-boron bonds are easily broken and re-formed. Figure A shows the crosslinking reaction between polyvinyl alcohol and sodium borate.

Figure A

Thermoplastic elastomer—a high-chain polymer that softens when exposed to heat and has the ability to be stretched to twice its original length and to retract rapidly when released.Information Table Polymer Name Repeating Monomeric Unit Polymer Type Guar Gum n polysaccharide Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) n thermoplastic elastomer (PVAc) Polyvinyl Acetate n thermoplastic elastomer Polysaccharide—a combination of nine or more monosaccharides (simple sugars. C6H12O6) linked together. PRE LAB QUESTIONS: .

3.1. Add 1 to 3 drops of food coloring to each polymer solution. 10 mL • 50% white glue solution. Refer to the information table. 2. showing at least 3 repeating units. and stir the mixture rapidly for 2 minutes. To the Guar Gum/food coloring solution in cup 1. For each type of polymer. 2. and create a flow chart of procedures you will follow to conduct the lab. assorted colors PROCEDURE Part 1: Making slime and its variants 1. Review the procedure. MATERIALS ← ← ← ← ← ← ← • 5% polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) solution. 30 mL • 1. 30 mL • 4% sodium tetraborate (sodium borate) solution. Note: Be sure you add the same number of drops of sodium borate solution in all cases. 30 mL • 4 oz plastic cups • 50 mL graduated cylinders. add 8 drops of sodium borate solution. Repeat with the polymer/dye solutions in cups 2 and 3. 30 mL of polyvinyl alcohol into cup 2. 3.7% guar gum solution. . Using separate graduated cylinders pour 30 mL of guar gum solution into cup 1. draw the cross-linked polymer. Create a data table for each of the observations/tests you will conduct for each type of polymer you create. and the example given in the introduction. 3 • food coloring. for a total of six cups. and 30 mL of white glue into cup 3. Use a permanent marker to label two sets of three plastic cups 1 to 3.

3. The abstract will consist of three parts. • • • The thesis or prediction for the lab. What happens? Does it stretch or break? Write your observations in the data table. Include color. Bounce Test: Roll your slime into a ball and drop from a height of 30 cm above the table. record general observations of each type of slime polymer.” ANALYSIS AND CONCLUSION Each student will write an abstract of the lab. Slow Pull Test: Pick up the slime and slowly pull on the ends. Maximum words 250. Was your prediction/ hypothesis correct? . What happens? Write your observations in the chart and rate the bounce from 1 for “poor” to 5 for “great. The method very briefly described. “Poke” Test: Slowly poke the slime with your finger. In a prepared data table. 4. The conclusion of what was found.Part 2: Evaluating the physical properties of slime variants 1. texture. and anything else you observe. What happens? Does your finger go into the slime easily? Record observations in the data table. 2.