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Polymer Balls

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by

Caitlin Rodensky

on 6 June 2014

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Transcript of Polymer Balls


Polymer Balls, also known as "water marbles" and "Brain Drops" are transparent balls that expand when hydrated. The result is a clear or colored gel-like sphere that grows to be up to 200 times the original size beads
Materials
To create the transparent gel-like polymer balls that appear invisible in water you need:
1. A package of "water marbles"
or "Braindrops"
2. Hot Water
3. A Large Container or beaker
Procedure
1. Begin by determining the amount of polymer balls desired to be made
2. Add determined number of beads to a container or beaker
3. Add hot/boiling water to beads
4. Cover container if possible to trap heat and cause the reaction to take place quicker
5. Let sit for approximately 2 or more hours
6. After 2 hours the solid beads become saturated and gel-like balls are produced
7. The balls can be removed from the water
Safety
The polymer balls are nontoxic but should not be ingested.

Wash hands thoroughly after dealing with polymer balls
Conclusion
The "invisible" polymer balls that are formed from this reaction are composed of a hydrophilic polymer called polyacrylamide. Equation:
Other Methods to make "Water Marbles"
The experiment we performed was an absorption reactions, showing how the microscopic beads absorbed large amounts of water and expanded to be small gel-like balls.
Another approach to this same experiment is to, instead of using "braindrops" beads, create the "water marbles" from scratch.
Materials
To create "water marbles" from scratch you need an assortment of materials and chemicals including:
-Baking Soda
-Vinegar
-Calcium Bicarbonate
-Iodized Salt
-Freezer
-Hot Plate
-250mL Beaker
-Safety Goggles

Polymer Balls
Introduction
By Caitlin Rodensky and Julie Henry
The polar C=O and -NH2 bonds are strong hydrogen bonds to water molecules which causes the polymer to easily absorb large amounts of water and a polymer gel forms
Since the polymer ball is composed of almost entirely water, its index of refraction is practically the same as that of water, causing the ball to "disappear" in water
Procedure
1. Mix together baking soda and vinegar mixing constantly
2. Place in Freezer for approximately 10 minutes
3. After freezing add Calcium Bicarbonate to the sodium acetate that formed between baking soda and vinegar mix well
4. Add 1/2 cup iodized salt to mixture
5. Boil mixture for about 7 minutes mixing constantly
6. Let sit for 15 minutes after boiling
7. After 15 minutes "water marbles" can be found
Conclusion
The result of both methods, is translucent polymer balls that appear invisible in water. The reason for this is that contact with air causes the substance to loose its polar ability which causes the substance to stick to itself, and transform into solid spheres
Bibliography
http://www.flinnsci.com/media/557632/cf11089.pdf
http://www.chemspider.com/blog/a-well-done-scientific-hoax-called-water-marbles.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCeAfKCC2ng#t=142
http://www.marblesthebrainstore.com/braindrops
Full transcript