New Clear Plastic Is as Strong as Steel

MJMANDALAY

Registered User
Jan 26, 2005
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#1
By mimicking structures found in seashells, scientists have created a transparent plastic that is as strong as steel.

For years scientists have tried to build sturdy materials for larger products from ultrastrong nano-size building blocks, such as nanotubes, nanosheets and nanorods, only to have the larger structures turn out comparatively weak.

"When you tried to build something you can hold in your arms, scientists had difficulties transferring the strength of individual nanosheets or nanotubes to the entire material," said study leader Nicholas Kotov of the University of Michigan.

To solve this problem, Kotov and his colleagues have devised a process that builds materials one nanoscale layer at a time, similar to the way that mother-of-pearl, the iridescent lining of mussel, oyster and other mollusk shells, is built.

They built a machine that dips a piece of glass about the size of a stick of gum alternately into a glue-like polymer solution and a dispersion of clay nanosheets.

These materials form cooperative hydrogen bonds with each other across the layers, which give rise to a "Velcro effect," Kotov explained.

This effect, coupled with the arrangement of the nanosheets in a brick-and-mortar structure, make the final product (as thick as a piece of plastic wrap) very strong. The developers say that the product could be widely available in a relatively short period of time.

"The technology of preparation of these materials is pretty simple," Kotov told LiveScience. "So, if someone decides to make it happen, it could be available on the market in a year or less."
 

grail

Tahini sauce in my drawers
Sep 24, 2005
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#2
What they fail to mention in the article is your the time in which takes to make such a part. Lots of materials now are stronger than steel, e. g. carbon fiber laminates. I would like to see how this technology pans out once it's out of the lab scale and into production.
 
Dec 25, 2005
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#3
since it's so thin, is it/could it be flexible still?
 

abudabit

New Wackbag
Oct 10, 2004
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#4
Another thing they don't mention is if you use it as a thermoplastic does it loose all its strength?
 

nataskaos

He's no good to me dead.
Jul 7, 2006
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#6
new condom material!
hooray for not busting out of your rubber and getting the ol' snaparoo.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
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#10
One step closer to transparent aluminum.
yea beat me too it.

one of my questions is even if its' as hard as steel will it be able to be shaped or is it going to only be sheets, it would be nice to have bullet proof glass that is only 1/8" thick
 

Hudson

Supreme Champion!!!!!
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Jan 14, 2002
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#12
one step closer to Wonder Woman's Invisible Jet....
One question..what effect, if any would this have on stealth technology?
 

Hudson

Supreme Champion!!!!!
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#17
:deadhorse Beware of men with sweatbands "communicating" with Humpback whales
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#20
Ah, one step closer to transparisteel.

What you think I'm going to let the Star Trek geeks have all the fun?
 

weakside

He was stupid. I was lucky. I will visit him soon.
Dec 9, 2004
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#22
"And captain, its the Enterprise."