Plastic Steel: Light and Transparent but Strong as Steel

U-M research: New plastic is strong as steel, transparent. ‘By mimicking a brick-and-mortar molecular structure found in seashells, University of Michigan researchers created a composite plastic that’s as strong as steel but lighter and transparent. It’s made of layers of clay nanosheets and a water-soluble polymer that shares chemistry with white glue. Engineering professor Nicholas […]

Polyurethane Plastics From Canola Oil

Polyurethane plastics from canola oil. ‘An intensive world-wide effort to develop technology for manufacturing plastics from vegetable oil, rather then petroleum, has led researchers in Canada to a process for making polyurethane (PUR) plastic sheets from canola oil. In a study scheduled for publication in the July 9 issue of ACS’s Biomacromolecules, a monthly journal, […]

Polymer-Based (Polypyrrole) Battery

Brown Engineers Build a Better Battery – With Plastic. ‘It’s thin, light, flexible – and plastic. Brown University engineers Hyun-Kon Song and Tayhas Palmore have created a prototype polymer-based battery that packs more power than a standard alkaline battery and more storage capacity than a double-layered capacitor. Their work, published in Advanced Materials, will be […]

New Non-Precious Metal Catalysts for Hydrogen Fuel-Cells

Less expensive fuel cell may be possible. ‘Replacing platinum with non-precious metal composite could reduce cost of hydrogen fuel cells. Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a new class of hydrogen fuel-cell catalysts that exhibit promising activity and stability. The catalysts are made of low-cost nonprecious metals entrapped in something called a heteroatomic-polymer […]

Semi-Conducting Polymer (Polythiophene)

Chemists work on plastic promise. ‘The invention could eventually slash the cost of flat panel screens and bring electronic paper into common use. The new material can also be laid down using simple printing techniques rather than the expensive and elaborate methods used to process silicon.’ Polymer matches silicon in semi-conductor stakes.