Researchers Discover New Polymers

polymerHumans have been creating synthetic polymers for decades. These polymers are found in everything from computers to polyester. However, new polymer-forming chemical reactions are rare. That is why the discovery of IBM research Jeannette M. Garcia and her team of researcher and scientists is big news.

Last May, after more than a year, Garcia and her team discovered two new polymers. Codenamed Titan and Hydro, the polymers came from the same reaction but also have differences. Titan is rigid enough to become part of the next generation of computers while Hydro is a flexible liquid gel that can “self-heal” after being cut apart . The findings are now being submitted to Science, a peer review journal.

According to an interview with Garcia in Mashable, polymers are “essentially macromolecules made up of 10,000 or more atoms, and they occur in nature (rubber) and have been synthesized in the lab (Polystyrene).”

Art Jefford , an experienced risk management, innovative marketing expert with extensive international technical experience in Plastics Rubber and Elastomers in the enclosure environment says, “ Intelligent reactive materials, especially with self-healing properties are the next destructive innovation in today’s ever-evolving dynamic build marketplace, replacing current construction practices.

Polymer innovation, like Titan and combo blends with carbon nanotubes and conventional reinforcements emerging from a common origin, create new marketplace utilization in addition to filling existing marketplace opportunities, are more easily molded into intelligent applications in our continued increase built performance needs.

“While self-healing attracting flexible polymers serve our ever increasing need for speed and repetitive shock stress that ever resealing has been difficult to achieve, the marketplace for Hydro polymer self-healing flexible polymer is surprisingly useful as an adhesive, but even greater as an elastomeric isolator in our quest for speed and durability on land, air and sea.”

David Hurwitz is President of GC Group, Ltd. and Managing Director of Edica-Garnett Partners LLC, a global strategy and execution consultancy. He says, “Absent any chemistry info it is hard to comment, but on ‘first blush’ my reactions are as follows.

“First, for high performance aerospace applications, one must also ask about the temperature of the strength tests and over what temp range does Titan deliver the noted properties. Also, what about deformation or elongation over time, and also chemical resistance (hydraulic fluids, concentrated Nitric and sulfuric acid)—or resistance to deicing fluids, and also paintability? Also, the soft polymer is interesting but just self-healing does not imply adhesive bonding properties nor green strength, peal strength, etc.

“So these products may be of interest but we have been told so little that there is too much of a gap to speculate further…. also, no data on raw materials and the cost of these products nor the reaction conditions, yields etc.”

Zintro has experts in every industry sector, across every job function, in every geographic region. Recently, some of the following topics have seen inquiry activity: