Corn Starch/Howard Community College/Fall 2011/501 Speakers

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Monsters Experiment Speakers
Cornstarch Experiment Materials
Green cornstarch
Ultrasonic Horn Setup
Ultrasonic Horn Response
Empty BJ's Cornstarch Containers
Stirring Cornstarch and Water Mixture
Viscosity Experiment Trough
Applied Force Apparatus
Viscosity Experiment Apparatus
Ferro Fluid Ink
Ferro Fluid Reacting with Magnet

Corn Starch Problem Statement[edit]

Experiment with the non-Newtonian fluid, corn starch, and show how this fluid holds unique properties.

Team Members[edit]

Summary[edit]

The first week of this project was spent individually, but we completed the same experiment. The experiment was to develop the cornstarch mixture and determine its properties. The second week of this project was spent individually, and each team member completed different tasks. The tasks that were completed were developing a large quantity of cornstarch, experimenting with ferro fluid, and create a response in the cornstarch using sound vibrations. The last two weeks were spent on developing a ferro fluid, and determining why cornstarch's properties are so unique. During these weeks, the information determined from the first two weeks was used to branch off and explain non-Newtonain fluids.

Poster[edit]

A few of the project photos that were taken are distrubeted on the right side of this wiki page.

Here is a list of cornstarch youtube videos that were devloped by us:

Story[edit]

The first week of the project was spent on producing the cornstarch mixture and experimenting with it. The only problems that occured during this week were collecting the materials for the cornstarch, however this was solved by visiting a grocery store and purchasing cornstarch. The experiment produced different videos which were explaining a few of the properties of a non-Newtonian fluid.


The next week was spent more individually than as a team, we each split up and performed three different experiements: 1. Cornstarch in a large quantity, 2. Producing cornstarch monsters using sound vibrations, and 3. Using an ultrasonic horn on cornstarch. The problems in the 1st experiment were purchasing the large amounts of cornstarch and producing the mixture. By going to BJ's, large amounts of cornstarch could be purchased. To solve the stirring issue, a pattern was formed so the cornstarch mixture could be produced quickly. The problem in the 2nd experiment was producing large enough sound vibrations. Using an amplifer and a wider speaker cone produced the proper cornstarch monsters. With each of these experiments, more properties of cornstarch evolved resulting in further documentation of a non-Newtonian fluid's properties.


The last two weeks on this project were spent completeing two large experiments. One of which was explaining the properties of cornstarch with a viscosity experiment, and the other was developing ferro fluid to document that fluids properties. Regarding the viscosity experiment, the first part was researching how to measure viscosity and how to quantitatively determine it. It was determined that viscosity is the shear stress of a fluid divided by the strain rate. This information resulted in an experiment in which the shear strain and strain rate were measured. However, the results of the experiment showed large error due to the lack of control in the system. Thus it was concluded a more controlled environment was need, however the next team can continue this experiment and learn from these errors. In the ferro fluid experiment, many of the problems that occured were a result of not properly producing the fluid at first. After some mis-steps in creating the ferro fluid, MICR toner was ordered off the internet and ferro fluid was successfully created. There were a few problems with the fluid itself as it didn't produce the magnetic field's spikes as seen in the example video. The correct ratio would probably needed to be used, as the fluid created did not quite have the right ratio. The ink could have had some defects to it, or may not have been as magnetic as other inks. The magnet, while a rare earth magnet, could have been bigger to show a proper magnetic field. There were plenty of problems to solve for groups going forward.


In summation the first two weeks of this project were spent on documenting the properties of the cornstarch mixture. The last two weeks were spent on using this information to explain these properties with a quantitative value. Although this project was not completed to its full potential, a future team can continue this project with ease due to the documentation.

Decision List[edit]

Here is a list of the formal decisions we decided upon as a team:

1. Collect cornstarch materials and prepare non-Newtonian fluid cornstarch.
2. Experiment with the non-Newtonian fluid and determine its unique properties.
3. Record results of experiment.
4. Prepare the sound cone to produce vibrations.
5. Place cornstarch on the sound cone and show more unique properties of this fluid.
6. Record results of experiment.
7. Develop a large quantity of cornstarch.
8. Use this large amount of cornstarch to explain further properties.
9. Record results of experiment.
10. Prepare a shear stress experiment set up and procedure to quantitatively explain the properties of cornstarch.
11. Measure the shear stress and strain rate of a non-Newtonian fluid (cornstarch) and a Newtonian fluid (water).
12. Record results of experiment, and interpret data for complete analysis of non-Newtonian fluids.
13. Collect necessary materials and develop a ferro fluid mixture.
14. Experiment with the ferro fluid.
15. Record results of experiment.

Material List[edit]

Here is a list of materials that were used to complete this project:

  • Sound Cone, to produce vibrations
  • Corn Starch, a component of the non-Newtonian fluid being studied
  • Water, a component of the non-Newtonian fluid being studied
  • Saran Wrap, to maintain a clean speaker while experimenting with the corn starch.
  • Various Measuring Cups, for measuring the amount of water or cornstarch used in the non-Newtonian fluid.
  • Stirring Rod, for stirring or mixing the cornstarch and water materials.
  • Container, to store cornstarch when experimenting.
  • Trough, contains a fluid so the shear stress and strain rate can be calculated.
  • Force Probe, a tool used to measure the force applied of the shear stress.
  • Stopwatch, a tool used to measure the velocity of the strain rate.
  • MICR Toner, to produce the ferro fluid mixture.
  • Vegetable Oil, to clump together the MICR toner.

Software List[edit]

Here is a list of software used to complete this project:

  • NCH Tone Generator
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Vernier Force Probe

Time[edit]

As a team, we spent two hours in class and four hours outside of class every week on average. Seperately, each individual member spent about six hours every week. So in four weeks, the team spent eight hours together. And individually, each team member spent about sixteen hours in four weeks. Therefore the total time spent on this project is seventy to eighty hours.

Tutorials[edit]

Here is a list of youtube videos of the various properties of corn starch as a non-newtonian fluid:

Here is a list of links to information about non-newtonian fluids:

Next Steps[edit]

Using the videos and photos as a guide the next team should redevelop these experiments to explain the properties of cornstarch. Then using this information the team should continue where we left off with the ferro fluid and viscosity experiment. It these two projects are completed then the next team should redo all experiemtns but with a different non-Newtonian fluid, such as ketchup of syrup.