Polymer Project Journal Entry #4

photo-on-11-14-16-at-4-51-pm-2To reach our final prototype, our team first created 2 completely different versions of gloop. The first one reached most of our goals; however stretchiness and stickiness were two characteristics it lacked. On the other hand, the second polymer had everything but stretchiness. We decided to then improve on to the second polymer (it had more desired characteristics like more flexibility) by lessening the amount of borax to increase stretch and stickiness and some other ingredients (full recipe in the instructions above). This prototype polymer (Prototype 2A) was the closest we got to perfect as we did not want the polymer to be to sticky or stretchy or else the polymer case would droop off or stick into cracks of the phone. Prototype 2A could stretch as long as you crush-rolled it on a flat surface and only stuck to phones as long as it was ever-so-slightly rubbed with a bit of water. A limitation we had was that if the case experienced a very big impact (let’s say if it fell off a cellphone tower), the case would then split and “explode”. But, if you collect the pieces you could crush-roll it back into a case (all of this can be seen in the infomercial above).

I learned that defining and creating solutions for a goal can be very quick and simple, completely unlike the execution/development of one. Debates and questions arose as we tried to decide what was best and how we could improve our polymer. Every ingredient we added not only added a desired characteristic, but also took away one. In the end, we were able to overcome these obstacles and created a somewhat satisfying polymer.

Polymer Project Journal Entry #3

photo-on-11-8-16-at-8-11-pm-2As stated in the previous journal entry, the polymer phone case should be stretchable and bouncy so it could absorb any impact forces, and it should be able to harden somewhat so the polymer doesn’t stick or droop off the phone. We created a table to test the prototype polymers. Prototype #1 was made out of gloop, 1g of borax to increase bounce but decreased stickiness and stretchiness, 1g of PVA solution to increase the wanted stickiness, and 1g of guar gum to add rubbery properties to absorb force. Prototype #2A was made out of gloop, and extra 5g of borax to increase bounce, 2g of both liquid and solid cornstarch to thicken and decrees stickiness of polymer, and 3g of PVA solution to decrease goopyness. We wanted to test out if the polymers had the desired properties. Does it stretch so it can wrap around any type of phone? Does it stick bimage1ecause if it does it might ruin the phone by getting into the cracks? Does it absorb force so you don’t have to worry about your phone breaking? Does it harden so it doesn’t slowly fall off your phone? As you can see in the graph above, the DRIED versions of the polymer did not reach our expectations; however, we recreated prototype #2A as it was more flexible than the other one when dried, and the fresh version reached most of our expectations: it could stretch, not really sticky, can absorb force and would harden after left out for a day. The group decided that a slightly dried polymer that would then be bagged/wrapped would be the best state for use.