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March 11th, 2007

From the Labs: Nanotechnology

Abstract:
Researchers have found that using clay nanoparticles to reinforce a polyurethane material makes it 20 times as stiff and twice as resistant to heat. The polyurethane is composed of two different types of monomers—molecules linked up into polymer chains. The monomers don't mix well, so they locally separate into hard organized regions and soft amorphous regions. A new dispersion process ensures that the nanoparticles preferentially reinforce the hard regions, making the polyurethane stiffer. Since the process also leaves the soft, amorphous areas free to flex, the material can still stretch substantially without breaking.

Source:
technologyreview.com

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