Plastic harder than steel – is it possible?
Based on pearls
Plastic harder than steel – a breakthrough in which fields?
It is hard not to agree with the thesis that in the 21st century we live in an absolute excess of plastic. We also know how its production has a negative impact on the environment, despite the implemented recycling procedures. Is it possible to escape from it? Today it is difficult to put forward a clear thesis. If it were to be less destructive to the ecosystem, we would have to produce a type of plastic that would be extremely durable and reusable. Plastic harder than steel. Sounds exotic, right? However, it turns out that we are getting closer to bringing it to everyday use. We will see in a moment that what seemingly seems unreal turns out to be the most probable.
Researchers from the University at Buffalo have managed to develop a method of producing plastic that turns out to be much harder than steel! Importantly, the scientists managed to keep the plastic light despite this significant discovery. Professor Shenqiang Ren and a team of researchers have created an extraordinary plastic based on Dyneema. It is polyethylene, which has a huge molecular weight. It is also characterized by a very hard and durable outer coating, with a flexible undercoat inside the product. This primer is able to deform projectiles The experiment in question was carried out on the basis of the structure and properties of diamond. The team of scientists proved that the invented plastic is 14 times harder than steel. Its properties can be improved by adding silica nanoparticles.
So let’s think about where we can use this extraordinary material. It will certainly find its use in bulletproof vests or other types of armor or helmets. As a result of this invention, there was also a breakthrough in the production of climbing loops and endoprosthesis elements. It is extremely rare that the lightness of the material can also be achieved with the effect of durability. Therefore, if we developed the production of such plastic on a large scale, it could replace the existing, non-ecological forms of plastic packaging. However, this is only supposition at this stage.