Journal Entry #4

Prototype ObservationsPrototype # 3, called Stretch-tastic with 10 ml solution starch and 5g of Guar Gum, was most effective for meeting our goal because it was: 1) non-conductive/heat insulating
2)moldable/stretchy, 3) washable and 4) has level 1 stickiness, fulfilling all of our requirements for our product, Cup-n-Cup.

The design process was exhilarating, coming up with a design that is useful, achieves our main goal, and also fulfills the needs and wants of customers. To design our first prototype, Anthea and I followed a cycle: defining a goal, developing Solutions, optimizing Solutions and it follows back to the beginning. When we finally got an idea, transforming our imaginations to the actual product was still not as easy as I thought. A challenge we faced was not knowing the right type and amount of additional ingredients needed to be combined with a certain base polymer to make the best suitable polymer for our product. At first, I thought gelatin would be a great choice, but little did I know it melts when it is in contact with heat, unsatisfying the need to be a heat insulator. However, by comparing the observations of different base polymers, we immediately figured out what to do and which to use. From this fascinating project, I learned what polymers are and that it divided into two types- natural and synthetic. I also learned by adding a variety of ingredients, you can change the polymer’s physical properties. Personally, I thought the entire Polymer Project was interesting! We mixed and molded and designed!

Infomercial- Cup-n-Cup:

Prezi #4Prezi Presentation: Procedure of Final Design:

Journal Entry #3

Our product, Cup-n-Cup, is a heat insulator. It’s a non-conductive product that encases a cup to insulate the heat of the hot beverage the cup carries inside. To make this virtual idea become reality, we concluded several desired physical properties of the polymer. Here are the requirements the polymer has to fulfill: 1) non-conductive/heat insulating, 2) moldable/stretchy, 3) washable and 4) level 1 stickiness. Firstly, to develop our different prototypes, I chose a base polymer that already meets most of the requirements. Last class I concluded that Stretch-tastic was the most suitable type of polymer. Secondly, I followed the instructions to make Stretch-tastic while also adjusting it by adding additional ingredients to create a modified Stretch-tastic.

How did we test the its effectiveness? Here is the procedure for our method:

1.   Pour 150ml of hot water (straight from the water dispenser) into two beakers.
2.   Measure initial temperature of water.
3.   Wrap our prototype around one beaker.
4.   Wait for 5 minutes.
5.   Measure and record final temperature.

Why would this method work? This method will work because the result will show us the difference in temperature of the water with Cup-n-Cup compared to the water temperature without it. Hopefully, the temperature change in water with our product is higher than the one without because then it demonstrates that our product is successful.

Prezi Presentation:



Polymer Journal Entry #2


What’s the first thing that comes to mind when given a goal to design a polymer that can be used as a heat insulator? The first idea that popped up in my group was a cup insulator. This product encircles around the outside of a cup and is used to contain the warmth of the hot beverage carried inside. We believe this product is necessary for various customers, targeting teachers, businessmen, adults and elderlies as our market audience. These particular categories are chosen because on daily bases, these people tend to drink coffee, tea or other hot beverages while working or trying to maintain a healthy body. An authentic client I anticipate will consume this product is Amy Fleming. She is a former Guardian staff journalist who has published an article on how hot drinks benefit a person’s health. From a research she described, just by holding a warm container soothes a person’s personality than someone who carries an icy cup. Our Cup-in-Cup insulator is not only useful but also unique! Contrasting to already existed cup warmers, which are yarn-knitted, our product durable and easy to wash and dry as it is waterproof. With colorful, odorless and durable Cup-in-cup insulator, we can sustain the warmth of your hot drink and allow you to always hold on to a warm, cozy cup.

To make our idea possible, we need to identify specific polymer characteristics from the different base polymers that will work best to create our product. I decided we use two of  the four discrete type of base polymers, Gloop, Super Slime, Stretch-tastic and Oobleck. For our product, the polymers must comprise several major qualities: 1) not sticky (level 1 stickiness). This is vital because we do not want the product to stick onto the user’s hand, 2) odorless, and 3) Stretchable and moldable, so it can be shaped into the size of any cup. However, last class, Ms. Cox, introduced another polymer, Gelatin, and I think it works best for our product’s inner layer because it meets all the requirements and it’s still soft after leaving it to dry over night. The outer layer will be Stretch-tastic because it can be easily molded into the correct shape.


Polymer Journal Entry #1

Day 1

Today was an introduction class to our new unit, the Polymer Project. A polymer is a large molecule composed of repeating structure units called monomers that are bonded together. In our world, there are two types of matter surrounding us, synthetic materials- materials that are man-made and natural resources- materials found in nature. Similarly, there are synthetic polymers and natural polymers. Rayon is one example of a synthetic polymer. Rayon is derived from cellulose of wood pulp or cotton. It is artificial silk and one particular type, HWM rayon, is successfully used in sheets, towels and apparels. Another example is polyester. Polyester is derived from coal, air, water and petroleum. It is used in our society for filling pillows, quilting, outerwear, and sleeping bags since it is a great heat insulator.

Both examples of synthetic polymers come from natural resources. So what kind of chemical reaction takes place in order for natural resources to become synthetic materials? The reaction is called polymerization. This process describes when monomers, single molecules, chemically bond together to form polymers. Recall a polymer is a large molecule made up of monomers. Therefore, polymerization is a chemical reaction in which two or more monomers bond to form a larger molecule, which is a polymer.

Popplet Mindmap: