MIT engineers have developed a new material that is ‘stronger than steel and as light as plastic’, according to a new report.
The groundbreaking findings were presented in the journal Nature in a paper called “Irreversible synthesis of super-hard two-dimensional polymer materials. “
The scientists used a new polymerization process to develop the new material, which they said in the study possesses “mechanical strength”.
The strong material can self-assemble into sheets and is therefore classified as a two-dimensional polymer.
Polymers include any group of natural or synthetic substances consisting of very large molecules (e.g. nylon, polyethylene, polyester, Teflon, wool, silk, and epoxy).
Until now, the researchers believed that this 2D process could not happen in the polymer because all the other layers could only form a one-dimensional chain like a noodle.
Such a material could not only be used to create a strong coating for automotive and smartphone parts, but also as a building material for bridges and other large structural works.
“We don’t usually think of plastic as something that you can use to support a building, but with this material you can create new things,” said Michael Strano, P. Dubbs at MIT and senior author of the new study, told MIT’s editorial office.
“It has very unusual properties and we are very excited about that,” added Strano.
The scientists quickly filed two patents for this new material, which can also easily be produced in large quantities.
The material could soon revolutionize the way almost anything is manufactured in the future, Strano notes, noting that “with this advancement, we have planar molecules that will make it much easier to make fashion into an object.” very durable but extremely thin.”
It’s currently unclear what the environmental impact of this new polymer will be, although MIT has been vocal about making new plastics that can degrade quickly into Earth.
The university writes in its Environmental Solutions Initiative: “There is an urgent need to create new plastics and plastic alternatives that will remain durable throughout their useful lives, after which decomposes rapidly and harmlessly in the environment”. webpage.
“The design of polymers also determines how easily they can be reused or recycled,” the statement on the website continues.
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https://www.the-sun.com/tech/4613607/mit-impossible-material-steel/ MIT creates ‘impossible’ new material stronger than steel but light as plastic