snow and ice: how do you make fake snow? - superabsorbent
We all like Christmas in white.
This is the theme of many songs and stories.
But if luckily we don't get one, we can still make our own white Christmas with a polymer called sodium propylene.
The polymer is basically a repeat unit.
We see polymers in our daily lives.
Plastic is made of a synthetic polymer called polystyrene, and the DNA and protein in our body are made of natural polymers.
How sodium propylene can make fake snow this polymer is a high water absorption material with the ability to absorb 200
300 of the water's own quality.
It is usually used as an absorbent in baby diapers (
Is a small white ball piece in a diaper with cotton).
High Water Absorption Polymer (SAPs)
Is a material with the ability to absorb and retain a large amount of water.
If we think of these polymers as a framework for holding water molecules, we can begin to understand how they work.
The polymer is hydrophilic (water loving), non-
Toxic and partial crossoverlinked. The cross-
The link is the ionic bond that connects one polymer chain to another polymer chain, putting our "frame" together.
This porous frame makes the material work like a sponge, allowing it to absorb and maintain water in the structure (frame)
It does not dissolve in water.
When sodium propylene is put into water, the water molecules enter the "holes" and fill them.
As more and more water is absorbed, its volume expands.
In order for it to work properly, there is a need for attraction between water molecules and polymers.
A special bond, called a hydrogen bond, is formed between the two and allows the polymer to maintain the position of water in its "hole.
Fake snow is almost entirely made up of water and over time the water evaporates and feels cold to the touch like real snow!
So, once you have sodium propylene, all you need to do is add water, hey presto-instant snow!
This fake snow was used when filming Steven spiegberg's hit TV series, brother band.
In order to clean it up, the Salt breaks it down into water and polymer ready for re-cleaninguse.
Sometimes the snow on TV or movies is made in different ways if they need a lot.
This snow is not artificial, it is real snow, it is made by machines, not weather conditions.
The real snow comes from water vapor.
* Teresa Tiney is a PhD candidate at the University of Limerick (UL)
His work was funded by the Irish Research Council.
She is an associate member of the Center for synthetic and solid-state Pharmaceutical (SSPC).
Dr. Sarah Hayes is an education and outreach officer at SSPC, whose academic achievements are UL, UCD, tms, NUI Galway, UCC Watford and aslon at the National Institute of Bioprocessing Research and Training.