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Keep your multimedia and educational electronics in good order and show your students a great example of science! Heat shrink tubing is made up of plastic that is only partially polymerized. (Polymerization is a chemical reaction which forms polymers by sticking a group of monomers together. A monomer is a group of atoms that are stuck together.) Heat is what's necessary to complete the chemical reaction. You can think of it as if the plastic is only part-way formed before exposed to the heat. As the separate monomers in the plastic are polymerized, they get closer together, making the plastic denser, which causes the tube to shrink. But because the polymerization reaction is one-way, the tube won't expand again once it cools down. Show your students how heat shrink tubing works and organize your wiring at the same time!
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|