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Problematic Polymers

8 May 2012

PhD students Brendan Rowan and Ryan Sharpe from Cardiff School of Chemistry travelled to Builth Wells on Wednesday 14th March to take part in a Chemistry at Work event organised by Careers Wales Mid Glamorgan & Powys. The event showcased the important role that chemistry plays in many professions here in Wales – from bakers and blacksmiths to fire fighters and pharmaceutical engineers.

Approximately 200 Year 10 and 11 pupils from schools all over Powys and Mid Glamorgan attended the talks and demonstrations on offer at more than a dozen stands. The Spectroscopy in a Suitcase team introduced the pupils to polymers and the pupils were able to identify various samples by their densities and IR spectra. After they identified the polymers the students then had a (messy) go at making slime from PVA and Borax solutions.

Dr Mark Elliott from the School of Chemistry also attended this event, explaining the work done in the pharmaceutical industry in the context of 'drugs, language and molecular structure'.

 

Problematic polymers