Nihar Mahajan and Madisen Camp-Chimenti By Nihar Mahajan and Madisen Camp-Chimenti January 31, 2013 Kathleen Sylva Chemist 27th Snowflake Avenue Sammamish, WA 98075 Dear Mrs. Sylva, After days of research, I have come upon one of the substances that will be the ideal compound for the glaze. I conducted a test to analyze the solubility of the substance in water and alcohol, the conductivity, and melting point. Some substances came very close to passing all the tests, but only one substance was able to pass all of them.
I recommend using sodium carbonate as your substance. Of all the substances, only two were covalent and two were ionic. The ionic substances, sodium chloride, sodium carbonate, and salicylic acid, came close to the description you requested. The covalent substances, sucrose and salicylic acid, did not match the descriptions. The best substance would definitely be sodium carbonate, since it passed all the tests. Sodium carbonate had a high melting point, so it will be able to last for a long time in the kiln fire.
It also is soluble in water, and not in alcohol allowing flexibility of the variety of pots you can make. Also, sodium carbonate is a conductive substance, especially when it is dissolved in water. Other substances like salicylic acid dissolved in water, had low boiling point, and was soluble in alcohol. Sodium chloride did have a high melting point, but it was soluble in alcohol. Sucrose was soluble in water as well, but it had a very low melting point. All the substances except for sodium carbonate did not pass the requirements, and therefore sodium carbonate is the best possible substance.
In order to prove this, I conducted a lab to determine the solubility, conductivity, and melting point of each substance. First, I made sure to obtain a Bunsen burner, evaporating dish, ethanol, the four substances, distilled water, conductivity probe, wash bottles, test tubes, and a beaker. I made sure the materials were cleaned to make sure the test was accurate. First, I measured the melting point of sodium chloride, sodium carbonate, and sucrose over the Bunsen burner. The experiment proved that sucrose had a much lower melting point than the other substances.
I also looked up the melting point of salicylic acid in a reliable reference book. Next, I measured the solubility of each substance in water, by placing it and seeing if it would dissolve in the water. I also measured the solubility of alcohol in the same process, and tried to see whether each substance would dissolve. The results are located below in the data table. Finally, I tested the conductivity of the substances. I made sure to mix each substance in distilled water to measure greater accuracy in conductivity.
After I had finished gathering data, I made sure to clean the table well and dispose of all the chemicals correctly. Statistics of the Substances Tested Substance| Sodium Chloride| Sucrose| Sodium Carbonate| Salicylic acid| Melting Point| High| Low| High| Low| Solubility in water| Yes| Yes| Yes| No| Solubility in Alcohol| Yes| No| No| Yes| Conductivity| Yes| No| Yes| Yes| Covalent or Ionic| Ionic| Covalent| Ionic| Covalent| Sincerely, Dr. Neusome C. Hemistry Director of Materials Testing