A plastic stronger than steel

Paul van Gerven
Leestijd: 3 minuten

The elusive two-dimensional polymer proves to be every bit as strong as everyone thought it would be.

By putting a new spin on the polymerization process, MIT scientists have created a plastic that by some measures is twice as strong as steel at about 1/6th the density. And, like all plastics, it’s easy to make large quantities of it.

The material’s unique combination of characteristics is the result of polymerizing into two dimensions, creating discs instead of strands – pizzas instead of spaghetti, if you will. Since the discs hold on to each other pretty tightly, a surprisingly strong plastic is created.

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