Make a Super Bouncy Ball

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About: I'm Nicolaj, a Danish chemistry student interested in DIY and projects involving fabrication.
Welcome to my instructable, where I will tell you how to make a great little toy using a chemical reaction, and easy-to-get chemicals.
Great science-fun for kids too!

Step 1: Materials Needed

This bouncy ball is made using a reaction between the two following chemicals:

- Alcohol (Ethanol) - You should be able to get this at any supermarket.
- Water glass (Sodium silicate) - Pretty easy to find at ceramic supply stores drug stores and hardware stores. I buy mine for about 3$ per 1/2 litre.

You will also need:

- Disposable rubber gloves
- 2 small beakers
- Popsicle stick

... and that's it! Now that wasn't so bad at all, was it?

Step 2: Mixing!

Start by measuring 4 tsp. of water glass into one beaker, and 1 tsp. of alcohol into the other.
Then pour the alcohol into the beaker with water glass and start stirring immediately with the popsicle.

A white solid should start to appear in the mixture, and within a minute or two it should be all solid.

Step 3: Squeeze It!

Scrape out the polymer, and form it with your hands. You should wear gloves, because water glass may be irritating to the skin.

Keep squeezing and be patient. Squeeze and shape it in a ball shape until the ball appears dry un the surface and doesn't crumble.

Step 4: Done!

Now the only thing left to do is use it!
Bounce it, juggle it etc.

The bouncy ball should be stored in a plastic bag, and if it breaks or gets distorted, just squeeze it back together into a ball shape.

And for a pink bouncy ball you can use phenolphthalein instead of alcohol. The only thing is, that it is not as easy available.

Participated in the
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    222 Discussions

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    avniuchat

    7 months ago

    I am able to make the bouncy ball. But when I kept it overnight, it dropped and flattened. How do I retain the shape after making it?

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    avniuchat

    7 months ago

    Were you facing this as well? Can you please help me and suggest what needs to be changed to resolve these issues. I was the spherical ball to dry as fast as it can and stay longer without breaking.

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    avniuchat

    7 months ago

    Dear, many thanks for the wonderful video. I made bouncy ball with water glass solution and 70% rubbing alcohol. It bounced really well. But when I keep it on floor, it droops and collapses downwards thus changing its shape from sphere to something else. It breaks easily as well.

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    i used liquid glass with metallic in it. . . . havent tried it yet. . . .will post my results in a few minutes. . .nice instructable!!!!

    16 replies
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    TandemFixationpudi.dk

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I'm pretty sure it exploded on him. :-) Not all those who discover explosives live to tell of their creations ;-)

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    flio191TechNerd1012

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    AKA=THESNOWMAN has accidentally created a miniature black hole through his/her efforts and is now somewhere far in the future, being lectured about why not to mix liquid glass with "metallic" by non-humanoids in a language he/she cannot understand.