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Working Mothers

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4 : Everyday Life With A Slime

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Monster Musume (Japanese: モンスター娘のいる日常, Hepburn: Monsutā Musume no Iru Nichijō, "Everyday Life with Monster Girls") is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Okayado.[a] The series is published in Japan by Tokuma Shoten in their Monthly Comic Ryū magazine and by Seven Seas Entertainment in the United States, with the chapters collected and reprinted into eighteen tankōbon volumes to date. Monster Musume revolves around Kimihito Kurusu, a Japanese student whose life is thrown into turmoil after accidentally becoming involved with the "Interspecies Cultural Exchange" program.

K-beauty brands like Cosrx, Missha, and Mizon sell wildly popular sheet masks, creams, and bottles of straight-up slime that tout miraculous benefits, from smoothing fine lines and wrinkles to reducing the appearance of acne scarring and hyperpigmentation to giving you that supple, dewy glow that has become the bar for skin-care influencers, coveted by every beauty fan with a pulse.

The slime product behaves sometimes as a liquid and in other cases as a solid. Such behavior is called "viscoelasticity" and materials are said to be "viscoelastic". Liquids can be poured and solids maintain their shape. How does this material compare as a solid and/or a liquid?There are a number of variations that can be made to this experiment. By adding 1 teaspoon of talcum powder or cornstarch to the polyvinyl alcohol in the first step, the polymer properties can be changed. The talcum powder or cornstarch act as "filler" and result in a very different product and behavior. In industry, fillers such as talc and carbon black are added to crosslinked polymers to adjust and vary properties such as color and strength. Filler also reduces the cost of the product since the filler materials are generally inexpensive.The addition of glitter or confetti to the polymer solution makes a very attractive slime!Put your slime in the refrigerator or freezer to cool it below room temperature. Be sure it is in a plastic bag or wrapped in plastic wrap so it won't dry out. How do the properties of the polymer change with temperature? Do plastics behave differently outdoors in freezing weather compared to indoors at room temperature?For a more elaborate experiment, have different groups of students use different amounts of sodium borate. For example, divide students into 5 groups. Have one group add 2 ml of borax to 100 ml of PVOH solution. The others groups should add 4, 8, 12, and 20 ml of borax to the 100 ml of polymer solution, respectively. This should more easily demonstrate the effects of crosslinking on the properties of the polymer. Using more sodium borate results in more crosslinking. Students can stretch or roll the slime into long ropes and determine which slime (which amount of crosslinking) is best for this.For high school chemistry classes, refer to the article Casassa, E.Z., Sarquis, A.M., Van Dyke, C.H., J. Chem. Ed., 63, 57, 1986, for details about the chemistry of polyvinyl alcohol slime.

In scientific terms, slime is classified as a non-Newtonian fluid. These are thick liquids that have a variable viscosity. Viscosity is a measurement of the resistance to flow when a shearing force is applied. Newtonian fluids have a constant viscosity depending on their composition. For example, water is always a thin liquid with a low viscosity. Molasses is thick and has a high viscosity. Non-Newtonian fluids, like slime, have a different viscosity based on the amount of force put on them. If a small amount of force is applied, such as stirring them slowly with your fingers, they feel thin and water-like. If a high force is applied, like throwing it against a wall, the resistance is very strong. They are called non-Newtonian fluids because they do not behave as predicted by Newton's laws. Other materials that also behave like this include ketchup, gelatin, glue, and quicksand.

While the intermixing of the polymer strands will give some built-in viscosity, a cross-linking a


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