A new molding technique is helping to improve the strength of plastic materials by making them brittle and more flexible, a new study says.
In a paper published in Nature Materials, a team of researchers from the University of Michigan and the University, U.K., shows how the new plastic nanowires can be used to make a flexible, flexible polyester.
The researchers say the new material can be easily molded into a variety of shapes and sizes and is more flexible than other materials.
The research team also showed that the new process can be scaled to fabricating other different types of plastic, including polycarbonate and carbon fibre.
The material is more than 50 times stronger than other common plastic composites, and up to 70 times stronger compared with comparable materials that have been used in other processes, according to the study.
Researchers say that by controlling the stiffness and flexibility of the new polymer, they could make it easier for new applications to be made.
“With this approach, we can get the properties of plastic to be much more flexible,” said lead author and University of Detroit Mercy professor James J. Cairns, a co-author of the study and professor of mechanical engineering at the University.
The paper is titled “Flexible Polyester Nanowires: A New Flexible Polymer Composite.”