Friday 5 October 2007

Transparent Plastic That is Strong as Steel

Composite plastic that’s as strong as steel, but light and transparent at the same time is now a reality and its made out of clay and a non-toxic glue similar to that used in school classrooms, the material is cheap, biodegradable and requires very little energy to produce.

University of Michigan researchers have mimicked a brick and mortar molecular structure found in seashells to create such a type of plastic. It is made up of layers of clay nanosheets and a water-soluble polymer that shares chemistry with white glue.

The material, which is described today in the U.S. journal Science is already being developed for practical applications and could become commercialised within a year or two. Researchers are now building a machine in their lab to create pieces as big as one meter by one meter.

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