West of England Metals and Materials Association
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Fantastic plastic

Prof Averil Macdonald, Reading University

Venue: Kingswood School, Bath

Tuesday October 2nd, 2012 at 18:30

The target audience for this talk is school pupils at Science National Curriculum - Key Stage 4 Science. Prior registration with the WEMMA Secretary is required except for WEMMA members.

After a brief overview of the great variety of physical properties of plastics that make them suitable for various intriguing and surprising applications, students are reminded of the basic concepts of solid, liquids and gases. From there, students are introduced to the idea of polymers consisting of long chain molecules. Polymers can exist as solid and liquids but often have properties of both (as in slime). Lively demonstrations show the effects of increasing the temperature, crosslinking the molecules, 'tangling up' the polymer chains, and dissolving them in liquids. Some examples are given to show how, by controlling what happens at the molecular level, the characteristics of the final material are determined.

The talk will be followed by a discussion and light buffet.

Polymer Jewelry - Stewart Jewelry Designs
Polymer Jewelry

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