Imagine plastic that gets stronger when stressed, drop-proof devices here we come!
posted by Maxwell R. / Sep 02, 2013, 6:38 PM
This plastic retains the characteristics found in all plastics, but the researchers able to find a way that allowed a molecule called carboxylate to cross-link across chains of molecules in the plastic under stress. The result is the plastic can react to physical force, making it stronger as stresses increase.
This reaction to a “mechanical force” leads this discovery to be called a “mechanophore.” The researchers tested this mechanophore by creating this plastic and feeding it through an extruder. They then measured structural reactions on a microscopic level through a technique called nanoindentation. The hardness of the mechanophore increased by 200 times after the extrusion process.
The team at Duke is continuing its research, but the applications are far reaching, not the least of which is a tough, without being overly stiff, plastic that could be used on our handy smartphones. Just imaging the drop tests we could come up with!
Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008
Of course smartphones are the first thing we think of. Not automobiles, planes, body armor, spacecraft, boats, bike helmets, body casts, and of course the most important: video game controllers; cuz there are plenty of frustrating games.
posted on Sep 02, 2013, 7:06 PM 10
Posts: 1245; Member since: Aug 13, 2010
Its not the plastic we're worried about when dropping our phones. It's the glass screen that shatters from a 3 foot drop that has us stressed.
posted on Sep 02, 2013, 9:50 PM 0
Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010
I've often wondered why they don't use a high grade clear plastic for screens. That would all but eliminate shattered screens from dropping. I'm sure there's a reason because I'd imagine any plastic would be cheaper than the glass they use.
posted on Sep 02, 2013, 11:23 PM 1
Posts: 152; Member since: Nov 16, 2011
exactly! it's not profitable. why do you think Samsung's plastic ridges around the screen are getting smaller and smaller? they may be marketing it as Gorilla glass 2, or 3, but it's easier to brake than Gorilla glass 1. they make a ton of money on replacement screens.
posted on Sep 03, 2013, 2:39 PM 0
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