Why Risk It: Capstone video

For this capstone movie I touch on the dangers of air pollution. Air pollution is a life-threatening danger that not only affect your health but also the environment.  In this video I reveal what air pollution can do to your health. I also include ways you can prevent air pollution such as recycling, planting trees and saving electricity.

Polymer Journal 5

Final Procedures:

Which Prototype Was The Most Successful?

Claim: 

Prototype 3 was the most successful because it had the most cornstarch to guar gum ratio.

Evidence:

Pototype 2-

2 tbs cornstarch, 1 tbs guar gum

  • Squishy
  • Flexible
  • Holds its shape
  • Bouncy
  • Too sticky

Prototype 3-

6 tbs cornstarch, 2 tbs guar gum

  • Squishy
  • Soft
  • Flexible
  • Holds its shape
  • Dries hard and strong

 

Reasoning: 

For our final polymer we wanted a clay that was squishy, soft, flexible and had the ability to hold its shape. When you add water to the guar gum and cornstarch mixture, it allows the particles to move around and form long chains. After, when microwaved, the long chains grabbed onto each other forming the clay itself. In prototype two, the cornstarch to guar gum ratio was 2:1 while in prototype 3 the ratio was 3:1. According to the data collected, it proves that in prototype 2 because there was too much guar gum the polymer was observed as too sticky. In prototype 3 there is much more cornstarch in the mixture giving the polymer clay a dryer and more desirable texture.

Reflection:

For this product we wanted to create a 100% eco friendly and safe polymer clay that could potentially replace the plastic in plastic toys. We started with the clay base, cornstarch and water. It was not stretchy enough so we added guar gum and altered the ratios to make the perfect polymer clay. After we made each prototype we put them through the ‘crack test’ where we let them dry and picked out the one prototype that cracked the least when dry.

For our pitch, our main goal was the idea of replacing plastic in toys with this eco friendly and safe polymer clay. In our pitch we also talk about how it is made, and the science behind it, presenting the audience with physical examples of our polymer clay.

Our polymer is 100% sustainable because it is made of all natural ingredients (cornstarch, guar gum and water).

Polymer Journal 4

In total we made 3 prototypes. Our end product is called Eco-Dough, and will be packaged in environmentally friendly paper bags lined with wax. You can purchase it for 20 Kuai per bag or it will be shipped to manufacturers in bulk.

Prototype 1:

3 tbs cornstarch

1 tbs water

Microwaved for a total of 40 seconds on medium heat

  • Very crumbly
  • Very cracked (after the crack test where we let it out to dry)
  • Not very bouncy
  • Dried extremely fast
  • Developed a hard ‘skin’ around the clay while it dried

One strength from this prototype is the hard skin proving that it will dry to be a strong material. All other observations are properties that are not desired in the final product. Since it was crumbly and had a fast dry time,  it would not allow the user to make their own toys successfully. 

Prototype 2:

2 tbs cornstarch

1 tbs guar gum

50 ml water

Microwaved for a total of 30 seconds on light heat

  • Squishy
  • Flexible
  • Holds its shape
  • Bouncy
  • Too sticky
  • Did not crack very much during crack test

The only limitation from this prototype was that it was too sticky. If the clay is too sticky, then molding toys with it will be extremely hard. All other properties such as its flexibility and its ability to hold its shape are all properties of polymer clay and is what we are looking for.

Prototype 3:

6 tbs cornstarch

2 tbs guar gum

40 ml water

Microwaved for a total of 40 seconds on light heat

  • Squishy
  • Soft
  • Flexible
  • Holds its shape
  • Dries hard and strong

Because of prototype 2’s  limit of the clay was too sticky, we decided to add less water so it would not be as sticky but microwaving it for less so it wouldn’t be too dry. The end product was exactly what we were looking for, a clay that had all properties of polymer clay but was 100% eco-friendly and safe. We have concluded that prototype is the best prototype out of all three.

Here is the table we used to record our data

Polymer Project 3

Our polymer idea is eco-friendly and child-safe polymer clay. We would want all the properties normal polymer clay has such as the ability to hold its shape, its flexibility, softness, and that it dries hard. Our plan was to take a basic dough recipe (cornstarch + water) but to alter it to fit the properties of polymer clay.

We first started out the basic clay recipe, but it was too hard and not moldable at all. We then decided to add some guar gum to give it an elasticity that is closer to polymer clay. We tried two prototypes one with 2 parts cornstarch 1 part guar gum and one with 1 part cornstarch 2 parts guar gum. Both were either too soft or too hard.

The process we went through was testing and revising until we got the perfect consistency.

Here is the final recipe:

6 tbs cornstarch

2 tbs guar gum

40 ml water

 

  1. Take cornstarch, guar gum and water. Mix
  2. Heat using microwave (light heat) for 30 seconds with 10 minute intervals
  3. Knead until clay

 

When you mix cornstarch, guar gum and water together it forms a frosting like consistency and the water gives the cornstarch and guar gum some room to move around so they can start forming long polymer chains. When you microwave the substance, the cornstarch/guar gum polymers will grab onto each other making them stick together- thus forming the clay.

A problem we encountered is that it cracks when it dries. We used different prototypes and compared them when they dried. The last prototype cracked the least and meets all our expectations.

Here is a picture of our second clay prototype when put through the ‘crack test’ (mentioned above)

Here are pictures of our final prototype

 

Citations:

Justice, Lisa. “Corny chemistry.” Corny chemistry – Explorit Science Center. 23 May 2019 <http://www.explorit.org/news/corny-chemistry>.