Simple techniques toughens polymers like plastic and rubber
Known for being resilient and flexible, plastics and rubbers are polymers. These are long chains of molecules that bind together. These chains contain structural defects that are loops. These loops are formed when the links of the bind to themselves rather than its peer. Therefore the key to improvement is in reducing these loops.
The essence of the technique is in the combination of the same material at different rates. Johnson and Olsen of MIT are pioneers in the field, and are pioneering the field. By adding the compounds in a slow and fast cycle, they were able to strengthen the material by 600%.
The improved structure could provide great utility to the general consumer. The applications lie in fields from optics to aviation. The improvement could mean thinner lenses and tougher planes. This improvement in strength is sought out in the medical industry.