Slime is a cross-linked polymer. A polymer is made of large molecules made of repeating units called monomers. A cross-linked polymer means that there are links connecting the molecules, much like the rungs in a ladder. The ladder diagram is similar to a cross-linked polymer only in the parts making it. The cross-linked polymer molecules in slime have many linked monomers and are very twisted instead of being straight.
Slime is a dilatant, which describes any substance whose viscosity increases when a sudden force is applied to it. For example, if you quickly pull on a piece of slime with the intent of stretching it, it will break instead of stretching.
Dilatants are force-thickening, meaning that a sudden force causes the material to thicken–become more viscous–less runny. This type of fluid is used in some all wheel drive vehicles.
On high traction road surfacing, there is little force on the fluid so it remains relatively thin. But on ice, a wet surface, mud, etc where the wheels start slipping, more force is applied to the fluid, causing the fluid to thicken. The more viscous fluid results in an automatic change to 4-wheel drive. The reverse occurs when the wheels are again on a road with more traction.
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