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PVA polymer slime

Description

A solution of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) can be made into a slime by adding borax solution, which creates cross-links between polymer chains. In this activity, some interesting properties of the slime are investigated. Students are guaranteed to enjoy the activities involved.

Type of Activity

:
class practical

Audience

:
Teacher

Age Group

:
11 to 18 years

Credits

:
This is an experiment from the Practical Chemistry project, developed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
pva-polymer-slime



Apparatus Chemicals

Goggles

Each working group requires:

Beaker (100 cm3)

Measuring cylinder (50 cm3)

Disposable plastic cup

Metal spatula

Petri dish (or watch glass)

Water-based felt-tipped pen

Spirit-based felt-tipped pen

Disposable plastic gloves

Each working group requires:

PVA, polyvinyl alcohol, 4% (or 8%) aqueous solution, 40 cm3

Borax, hydrated sodium tetraborate, 4% (or 8%) aqueous solution, 10 cm3

Food colour or fluorescein (optional)

Hydrochloric acid, about 0.5 M, 20 cm3 (optional)

Sodium hydroxide, about 0.5 M (CORROSIVE), 20 cm3 (optional)

Refer to Health & Safety and Technical notes section below for additional information.

 


Read our standard health & safety guidance





How products are made

Science Engineering for Kids (SEEK)


A solution of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) can be made into a slime by adding borax solution, which creates cross-links between polymer chains. In this activity, some interesting properties of the slime are investigated. Students are guaranteed to enjoy the activities involved.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

This is a resource from the Practical Chemistry project, developed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry. This collection of over 200 practical activities demonstrates a wide range of chemical concepts and processes. Each activity contains comprehensive information for teachers and technicians, including full technical notes and step-by-step procedures. Practical Chemistry activities accompany Practical Physics and Practical Biology.

The experiment is also part of the Royal Society of Chemistry's Continuing Professional Development course: Chemistry for non-specialists