Boric Acid Formula Reactions to Polyvinyl Alcohol
If 3 activator formulas consisting of a different concentration level of boric acid, such as borax, eye contact solution with baking soda, and tide detergent were combined into PVA glue, then the borax will display the strongest chemical reaction between the two substances and result in the smallest stretch ability along with the highest viscosity. This is because sodium tetraborate decahydrate contains the most borate ions formed when dissolved in h20 and therefore, increases the strength of the cross-linking process between PVA polymers.
Slime is a rubber like substance that is neither classified as a solid or a liquid, instead, it is recognized as a non-Newtonian fluid. According to the particle model of matter, slime has various properties of matter. It can absorb the shape of a container as its particles adjust by flowing transitionally past other particles, yet, slime does not have the capability to pour like water due to its viscosity. The flow of the particles or the viscosity, can vary depending on the amount of boric acid (BA) is added to polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). PVA is a water-soluble polymer that is manufactured by the saponification of polyvinyl acetate which causes a chemical reaction when assimilated with boric acid that occurs by the cross-linking between amorphous PVA chains, establishing a multi-dimensional 3-D structure. PVA is a simulated polymer with vast film-forming quality, outstanding resistance to oil and emulsifying properties. It also contains of excellent flexibility, strength, and gas barrier properties. Increases in chain length leads to an increase in molecular weight as the chains are not that tightly spaced; the boric acid can easily attack the groups of polyvinyl alcohol . The longer chains of PVA increase the hardness of the slime. As a result, it becomes increasingly difficult to expand or put dent onto the surface of the slime due to its ultimate force which increases the concentration of boric acid, resulting in higher amounts of borate ions present during the formation. Different levels of concentration increase the speed and strength of the cross linking process with the PVA.
Different activator formulas ( eye contact solution with baking soda, borax with water, and clear Tide detergent)
Strength of the impact measured through amount of stretch and viscosity (ft, cm, measuring tape )
- Type of glue ( Elmers )
- Amount of activator (½ tablespoon + ½ teaspoon)
- Amount of glue ( 3oz)
- Temperature of the ingredients ( 21 degrees celsius )
- Shape and material mixing tools/ container ( 3in glass bowl, 4.75 in glass bowl )
- Time the solution is stirred/kneaded ( 1 minute )
- Type of water ( tap )
Making the slime
Step 1. Wash hands thoroughly with soap before conducting experiment
Step 2. Place 4.75in glass bowl over weight scale
Step 3. Set weight scale to zero
Step 4. Measure 3oz of white Elmers glue into the glass bowl
Step 5. In a separate 3in container combine
- ½ tablespoon of Re-Nu eye contact solution / ½ teaspoon of baking soda
- ½ tablespoon of tap water / ½ teaspoon of borax
- ½ tablespoon + ½ teaspoon of Tide (clear) detergent
Step 5. Add “activator” formula into the glue
Step 6. Mix together with a plastic spoon for exactly 1 minute
Step 7. Use a scientific thermometer to measure the temperature of the slime (21 degrees celsius)
Conducting the experiment
Step 1. Place the slime into a plastic bottle
Step 2. Put a lid on the bottle
Step 3. Use 12cm of double sided tape to stick the bottle on a upright surface of 6ft above ground
Step 4. Remove the lid from the bottle
Step 5. Start the timer
Step 6. Pause the timer at
- 30 seconds
- 1 minute
- 2 minutes
- 3 minute
Step 7. Measure the length of the slime
Borax / Water
Contact Lens Solution / Baking Soda
Slime stretched at a very low rate and teared in various areas while expanding.
Slime stretched easily at an average pace and contained a uniform and smooth consistency.
Slime stretched efficiently, contained of a diluted texture, and extended to ground level rapidly.
Borax formed a thin sheet of slime above the polyvinyl alcohol. The borax activated the slime instantly.
The polyvinyl alcohol polymers commenced to activate proceeding 20 seconds.
The PVA polymers began to activate proceeding 45 seconds
All data represented in the bar graphs depict that the borax and water formula had the strongest impact on the PVA polymers. Chart E displays the flow and consistency of the slime throughout expanding in for extended amounts of time. The Tide detergent formula based slime stretched at any average of 63.2 cm in 30 seconds, 95.1 cm 1 minute, 11.5 cm in 2 minutes, and 143.8 cm in 3 minutes. The eye contact solution and baking soda slime expanded an average of 42.3 cm in 30 seconds, 55.4 cm in 1 minute, 95.5 cm in 2 minutes, and 131.1 cm in 3 minutes. Finally, the borax based slime stretched an average of 8.2 cm in 30 seconds, 30 cm in 1 minute, 37 cm in 2 minutes, and only 43.7 cm in 3 minutes. The chemical reaction between the borate ions co in the borax was highly present and activated the PVA polymers effortlessly compared to other activator solutions demonstrated in all graphs E. In conclusion, my hypothesis was correct. If eye contact solution and baking soda, borax and water, and Tide detergent formulas are combined into PVA glue, then the borax will display the strongest chemical reaction between the two substances and result in the smallest stretch ability along with the highest viscosity. The borax was most effective because of its performance in tensile strength and ability to create powerful and effective borate ions. This has led to better cross-linking as compared to the liquid detergent formula and the eye contact solution and borax formula due to the subtle concentration of boric acid.
The slime making process is more than just about having fun it's about learning and experimenting with chemicals and most importantly creating science. Kids around the world love to fidget around with this stress-relieving substance. This project demonstrates the chemistry behind slime and how polymers cross-link to form a completely new substance which is neither a solid nor liquid. This experiment also acknowledges viewers about the strongest and most effective activator formula. This is why slime is a fun, important, and new learning possibility in the real world.
Sources Of Error
The bottle stretch test enabled the force of gravity to accelerate the slime towards the ground at a constant speed. In the stretch test, as I attempted to place the slimes into the plastic bottles, bubbles started forming from air pressure. The slime was compressing air molecules and the space compacted. I made an adjustment by adding a hole at the opposite end of the bottle to allow for the air particles to flow. I realized, solar energy emitted from the sun or cool air that radiates to the window will affect the slime’s viscosity. When slime absorbs cold energy its molecules contract and become harder to expand. Therefore, I kept the slime at 21 degrees celsius. It did not affect the slimes quality.
Ravindra V. Gadhave. “Study of Cross-Linking between Boric Acid and Different Types of Polyvinyl Alcohol Adhesive”. Scientific
Research Publishing. February 19, 2019 Study of Cross-Linking between Boric Acid and Different Types of Polyvinyl
Alcohol Adhesive (scirp.org). Accessed January 27, 202
Takahito Itou, Hideyuki Kitai, Akira Shimazu, Tsukasa Miyazaki, and Kohji Tashiro."Clarification of Cross-Linkage Structure in Boric Acid Doped Poly(vinyl alcohol). . .” The Journal of Physical Chemistry.
March 8, 2014. Clarification of Cross-Linkage Structure in Boric Acid Doped Poly(vinyl alcohol). Accessed January 27, 2021.
I would like to ascknowledge Mrs.Grelowski ( Danielle ) for assisting me with additional research.