Home Experiment: Skewer a Balloon
We've been getting more requests for fun STEM related home experiments, so, here we go! Today we're going to show you how to Skewer a balloon!
Materials you'll need
Pick a balloon with your favorite color, inflate it, not to it's full capacity, and put a knot in its mouthpiece. Note, that if you inflate it too much, it might explode..
Put some liquid soap all over the skewer.
Push and twist the skewer through the area near the knot and through the thick part of the balloon at the end.
How is this possible?
The rubber in the balloon consists of many long molecules that are linked together called polymers. When molecules of a polymer are chemically attached to each other, it is called cross-linking.
These links hold the polymer molecules together and allow the balloon to stretch, but up to a point... Whenever the tension forced on the cross-links is too great, they will break, and the polymer will pull apart.
The rubber at the ends of the balloon is stretched out less than in the middle of the balloon, meaning there is less force put on it. This allows the skewer to break some cross-links, but, enough cross-links remain so that the balloon does not explode.
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