How does Silly Putty "pick up" comic/newspaper print?

And..I would like to know how it does this in color even!

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Silly Putty is well-known for its ability to pick up ink from the newspaper. But you probably observed that the Silly Putty does not pick up all inks that you tested. The reason it picks up some inks and not others is due to differences in solubility.

    A rule of thumb for solubility of two substances is “like dissolves like.” Polar substances (such as water or alcohol) will dissolve other polar substances. Likewise, nonpolar substances (such as oil and fat) will dissolve other nonpolar substances. However, polar and nonpolar substances (oil and water) do not dissolve in each other.

    Newsprint ink is a pigment suspended in oil (a nonpolar substance) which is adsorbed by the paper. Since Silly Putty picks up the ink from the newsprint, we can infer that it must also be a nonpolar material. The pigment-oil suspension of the newsprint ink is readily adsorbed by Silly Putty. Our oily skin often picks up newsprint for the same reason.

    From this activity, we can also infer that the inks the Silly Putty did not pick up are polar substances and therefore are not readily picked up by the nonpolar Silly Putty.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Silly Putty Newspaper

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Rub a piece of tissue against the newspaper --the colors will come off.

    Ink on newsprint doesn't hold too well. When you press silly putty on it, all you're simply doing is picking up the ink that is resting on top of the paper.

  • 1 decade ago

    It contains a solvent which is slightly sticky. When you press it on the funnies, some of each ink (red, yellow, green. blue, whatever they used) will come off and dissolve into the putty.

    You can reverse the process, using a 'hectograph'. You can make one at home with common safe chemicals, and use it as a sort of duplicator. Like a photocopier without using electricity or toner. Search on hectograph and you will see what I mean.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It's amazing, isn't it?

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