Our most successful prototype was the our cornstarch based polymer, the final one that we made. This prototype was made of 4tbs. cornstarch, 5ml starch solution, 8ml PVA solution, and optionally 3 drops of food coloring.
The most successful prototype was the cornstarch based polymer. This prototype had many physical properties that we were looking for, such as it was moldable and sticky. It also didn’t leave anything behind on your fingers after it was used, a very important property we needed. Finally, this prototype was more sustainable than many of our earlier prototypes. First of all, the product we were making need to mold onto a pencil and stay on it. This is why our polymer being moldable and sticky was so important. Our pencil grip was branded as being different because of how moldable it was, and in several of the other prototypes the polymer couldn’t mold or stretch at all. It also need to be sticky enough to stay on the pencil, but not so sticky that it would stay on your hands when you use it. Earlier prototypes were often not sticky at all, specifically ones that used a lot of Borax, and some prototypes were too sticky, such as the guar gum prototype. The other most important trait of the grip was for the polymer to not leave anything on your hands after using it. Several earlier prototypes, especially guar gum based polymers, left some of the polymer behind. Borax seemed to helped keep the polymer together better. Although some prototypes didn’t leave behind any of the polymer, they often would seem wet and make your hands or the table they were on wet. This also wasn’t good for our polymer, and the cornstarch polymer didn’t leave a residue at all. Finally, the cornstarch polymer was more sustainable than others. Our final prototype was not completely sustainable, because it used PVA solution. Even though it used PVA, it was still better than many other prototypes. Other prototypes were often made using more less sustainable ingredients, such as Borax and PVA Glue. In the end, our final prototype, the cornstarch based polymer, was the most successful prototype.
I think that in this polymer project I did fairly well, but could have improved in many ways. At the beginning when we were studying polymers, I think I should have spent more time on it and tried to learn more about specific base polymers that we would be using later. I think that if I did that at first we wouldn’t have had to do as much trial and error with creating prototypes, and we could have more quickly found the polymer we were looking for. After doing research when we began planning and making the first prototypes, I think we could have done more tests and recorded more information. If we had figured out what certain base polymers added to the polymer earlier on, it would have made modifying and perfecting the later prototypes significantly easier. When we did get to creating the later prototypes, I think mu group and I did everything pretty well. We created polymers following pre-made procedures and modified them where needed. When testing them and identifying their physical properties we did a good amount of testing and recorded all of the information we gathered. After making the polymer was finished, we had the presentation. Our presentation was not good. The cornstarch polymer we talked about got lost, so we just had to show two old prototypes we had that didn’t actually work. Scarlett wasn’t able to be at the practice presentation, so we didn’t even get to practice as a full group and had to fit her in for the final. Also, when giving the actual presentation we made many mistakes and missed topics or mentioned something we shouldn’t have. There are many improvements that should have been made four our presentation. Finally, our sustainability was ok. We made a cornstarch based product, which is sustainable, but we also used PVA. If we had more time to work on this, I would try to find an alternative for PVA that is sustainable.