Making “glass” in 5 seconds

How to turn a photopolymer into a solid

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

Per­form this ex­per­i­ment in pro­tec­tive gloves and eye­wear.

Reagents and equip­ment

  • pho­topoly­mer;
  • UV-light;
  • tray;
  • Petri dish;
  • beaker;
  • bro­ken ce­ram­ic bowl.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Shine a UV light on some pho­topoly­mer. The resin hard­ens al­most in­stant­ly. This makes it an ex­treme­ly use­ful glue! Ap­ply some resin to the edges of the ce­ram­ic shards, con­nect them, and ex­pose them to the UV light. The ce­ram­ic bowl is re­stored! Pho­topoly­mer can be used to glue var­i­ous sur­faces to­geth­er, such as glass and plas­tic.

Process de­scrip­tion

Light, such as UV light, can act on pho­topoly­mers to change their prop­er­ties. UV light ini­ti­ates a chain of com­plex chem­i­cal trans­for­ma­tions, caus­ing the mol­e­cules that make up the “foun­da­tion” of the pho­topoly­mer to link to­geth­er to form an ex­treme­ly durable poly­mer. This in­flu­ences its phys­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics, chang­ing it from a liq­uid to a sol­id.

Pho­topoly­mers are of­ten used to make dec­o­ra­tions and crafts. They are also uti­lized in den­tistry as ad­he­sives, sealants, and pro­tec­tive coat­ings. More­over, they can be em­ployed in 3D print­ing be­cause they dry so quick­ly.