The world could sure use more material that’s as firm as steel but a lot lighter than expected. Construction sites would benefit a lot, and that’s just one of the possible applications. Scientists from MIT seemed to have had these things in mind before creating their new invention.
According to SciTechDaily.com, chemical engineers from MIT managed to defy all odds by creating a material stronger than steel, light as plastic, and that can even be manufactured easily in large amounts.
The scientists exploited a new polymerization process
The new invention represents a two-dimensional polymer that can self-assemble into sheets. To come up with their new invention, the engineers used a new polymerization process. That allows them to generate a sheet in two dimensions known as polyaramide.
Michael Strano, the senior author of the new study and also a professor at MIT declared as SciTechDaily quotes:
We don’t usually think of plastics as being something that you could use to support a building, but with this material, you can enable new things
It has very unusual properties and we’re very excited about that.
The scientists also explained, as the same source quotes:
Instead of making a spaghetti-like molecule, we can make a sheet-like molecular plane, where we get molecules to hook themselves together in two dimensions,
This mechanism happens spontaneously in solution, and after we synthesize the material, we can easily spin-coat thin films that are extraordinarily strong.
The new invention is unique also for the fact that before, scientists didn’t think it was possible to induce polymers to form sheets in two dimensions. We can also expect to see it applied in developing electronic devices and many more, not just when it comes to what’s related to construction sites.
The new study was published in Nature.