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What is in oil that makes nail polish into slime?
Question Date: 2017-12-06
Answer 1:

The molecules that give slime its unique characteristics are called polymers. Polymers are large molecules made of many repeating subunits ( polymers ). Many materials we use every day such as gels, plastics, and rubber are all made by mixing polymers or by chemically modifying polymers in various ways.

Turning nail polish into slime is a great example of how polymers behave very differently in different chemical environments. Nail polish is a type of lacquer– a coating that is made by mixing a polymer (usually nitrocellulose) with an organic liquid called a solvent. An organic liquid is like oil, it does not dissolve in water; it repels water. When the polymer is dissolved in the solvent, the mixture behaves like a liquid. When you apply nail polish to your fingernail, eventually this solvent evaporates and leaves behind the solid dried polymer coating. To make slime, you add oil to the nail polish. The oil does not react with the polymer itself. Instead, the organic solvent, which does not like water, moves out of the nail polish and into the oil layer, becoming separated from the polymer. The polymer by itself (free from the solvent) is what you see as slime.

Answer 2:

Nail polish is chemically nonpolar (the molecules don't have positive and negative electric charges at one end or the other). This means that it probably dissolves in most oils.

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