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Bouncy Putty

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A bouncy ball, power ball or super ball is a ball which rebounds proportionally to the amount of force used when thrown at a hard surface. A typical bouncy ball can keep around 80% of its kinetic energy in one rebound. (Wikipedia)

SuperBalls are extremely elastic balls and are made of a material which contains the synthetic rubber polymer polybutadiene.

You can make your own bouncing ball from a polymer. Some glues contain the polymer polyvinyl acetate (PVA), which cross-links to itself when it reacts with borax.
 

Ingredients

  • Borax ***Warning
  • White glue
  • Cornstarch (Maizena)
  • Food colouring
  • Warm water
  • 2 small containers and skewers to stir with.
     

Method

  1. Pour 2 tablespoons of warm water and a ½ teaspoon borax powder into a small container. Stir the mixture to dissolve the borax.
  2. Add a drop of food colouring to the solution to get the desired colour.
  3. Pour ½ tablespoon of glue into another small container, add 2,5 ml (½ teaspoon) of cornstarc to the glue and mix well.
  4. Add 1 ml (¼ teaspoon) of the borax solution - DO NOT STIR but count to 10!to allow the ingredients to interact on their own
  5. Now stir to mix ingredients well. Once the mixture becomes impossible to stir, take it our of the cup and start moulding the ball with your hands.
  6. The ball will start out sticky and messy, but will solidify as you knead it. Once the ball is no longer sticky, go ahead and bounce it!
  7. Store your bouncy ball in a plastic bag to prevent it drying out.

Have fun!

*** Warning!
Please note that Borax (Sodium Borax) is toxic.
"Ingestion of 5 to 10 g by young children can cause severe vomiting, diarrhoea, shock and death"
(The Merck Index. 1976. p. 1110)
 

 
Original recipe from the MTN Sciencentre, Cape Town.


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