Science and Technology 

New lightweight material is stronger than steel

New lightweight material is stronger than steel
Science and Technology 

New lightweight material is stronger than steel

Anne Trafton   /  Source:  MIT
11/02/2022


Image: polymer film courtesy of the researchers; Christine Daniloff, MIT

The new substance is the result of a feat thought to be impossible: polymerizing a material in two dimensions.

Using a novel polymerization process, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) chemical engineers have created a new material that is stronger than steel and as light as plastic, and can be easily manufactured in large quantities.

The new material is a two-dimensional polymer that self-assembles into sheets, unlike all other polymers, which form one-dimensional, spaghetti-like chains. Until now, scientists had believed it was impossible to induce polymers to form 2D sheets.

Such a material could be used as a lightweight, durable coating for car parts or cell phones, or as a building material for bridges or other structures, says Michael Strano, the Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT and the senior author of the new study.

MIT: New lightweight material is stronger than steel


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