Hello nice people!
As a teenager I once obtained a polymer... But which one?
I had dry NaOH
in a test tube as d=1mm balls, plus some Al
uminium balls, both coming directly from a household product sold to clean toilet flows.
I poured Cl3C-CH3
(1,1,1-trichloroethane sold as thinner for tipp-ex) on them. All at room pressure and temperature, and under the best teenager practices of unknown purity, uncontrolled proportions and approximate cleanliness.
An emulsion formed and buoyed to the surface where it formed a solid stopper
, about 1/3 the volume of trichloroethane (maybe limited by the available NaOH). I had to break the test tube to get the stopper.
The polymer (I suppose it was) looked compact, it was white, softer than polypropylene but much harder than wax, EPDM or glue for hot glue gun - about as soft
as polymethylpentene. Its density could match a polyolefine, but I had no means to measure it.
It burned like a polyolefin, with the faint smoke and typical flame and odour
. An odour very different from to polymers containing oxygen like POM or chlorine like PVC. A quiet flame and faint smoke very different from multiple-bonds polymer like unloaded latex or polybutadiene.
A tridimensional network of C-CH3
would have an amount of hydrogen compatible with the reactants, but I'd expect it (wrongly?) to be a soft elastomer.Can you suggest what it was?
Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy