Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sodium-Silicate Polymer Lab

Sodium Silicate Polymer Lab
In this lab, the problem was that we had to find what would happen if you put sodium-silicate and ethyl alcohol together? And our hypothesis to this problem was what if we added the ethyl alcohol to sodium-silicate, then it will create a polymer in the form of a solid polymer. 
Our polymer
 Our mixture of sodium-silicate
 When the solution was created
Our results for the test were that we created a slimy, greasy, crumbling, hard, ball shaped, white, semi-transparent, bouncy, smooth, and waxy. This happened when we added the ethyl alcohol to the sodium-silicate and we began stirring the mixture. So this created a polymer that was made out of a chain of monomers. And once these two substances were added they were pressed together. It is also know that polymers consist of a lot of carbon and this was created once the two were mixed. 

In conclusion, my hypothesis was correct, due to the fact that when the sodium-silicate was mixed with the ethyl alcohol, it made a solid polymer from cross-linking elements. This happened when we added 3mL of ethyl alcohol to the 12mL of sodium-silicate. Once the solution was made, it formed quickly. They bonded together and it made a chunky white substance that was very odd feeling. In our research, there need to be monomers in a chain to create a polymer. So all of the monomers were added together and they created this polymer that consisted of sodium-silicate and ethyl alcohol.

What characteristics are similar between your two types of polymers you have made? Differences?
Well when we conducted test with each of the other polymers to see if they were bouncy and they both were. Also, they are both made out of sodium. But, one was more of a solid and one stretchy and returned back to its original shape.

Most commercial polymers are carbon based. What similar properties do carbon and silicon share that many contribute to their abilities to polymerize?
Silicon is element that is virtually the same as carbon so that the monomers are able to make into polymers.

 Plastics are made of organic (carbon based) polymers. What similarities does the silicone polymer share with the plastics?
In the lab, after about a 15 min. period, our polymer became really hard almost like plastic. It dried out and became a clear, hard little ball. Plastics are made up of half synthetic materials and they are high in molecular mass, just like how our polymer was at the end of the lab.

How did you know that a chemical reaction had taken place when the two liquids were mixed?
As soon as the ethyl alcohol was added into the sodium-silicate, it began to harden and become a very thick mixture. Then after some stirring, it became a slimy little white ball out of two clear liquids. 

How could you find out what liquid was pressed out of the mass of the crumbled solid as you formed the ball?
I could tell that there had been a little bit of excess ethyl alcohol, because it has a very distinct smell to it, and when I began to press against the ball really hard the ethyl alcohol started dripping out.

Compare your ball with there of the other members of the class. How many properties can you compare (e.g. diameter of the sphere versus height of the bounce)? List and compare.
We compared our ball to the ball of Ciara's group and we found out that there ball was a little bit bigger that ours, but ours was more rounded off so it bounced a lot higher than that of there group.   


No comments:

Post a Comment