Plastic as Strong as Steel

Plastic as strong as steelNow if this material can be made clear… Oh wait, it is. If it can be made crystal clear and has good refractive qualities it would make for some dandy scratch proof glasses.

A new composite plastic built layer by layer has been created by engineers at the University of Michigan. This plastic is as strong as steel. It has been built the same way as mother-of-pearl, and shows similar strength. Interestingly, this 300-layer plastic has been built with ‘strong’ nanosheets of clay and a ‘fragile’ polymer called polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), commonly used in paints and glue, which acts as ‘Velcro’ to envelop the nanoparticles. This new plastic could soon be used to design light but strong armors for soldiers or police officers. The researchers also think this material could be used in biomedical sensors and unmanned aircraft.

A plastic as solid as steel

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