Incredible New Polymer Fibers Are Ultra Light and Super Strong

Incredible New Polymer Fibers Are Ultra Light and Super Strong

by University of Bayreuth, SciTechDaily

Researchers at the University of Bayreuth develop unique multifibrillar fibers.

Strong and tough yet as light as a feather – materials with this exceptional combination of properties are urgently needed in many industrial sectors and in medicine, as well as being of great interest for scientific research. A research team from the University of Bayreuth has now developed polymer fibers with precisely these properties. Together with partners in Germany, China, and Switzerland, the polymer fibers were characterized. The scientists have published their results in the journal Science.

“The fibers we discovered can be produced easily using high-tech processes that are already established in the industry – and on the basis of polymers that are readily available worldwide. One individual fiber is as thin as a human hair, weighs less than a fruit fly, and yet is very strong: It can lift a weight of 30 grams without tearing. This corresponds to about 150,000 times the weight of a fruit fly. Experiments on the high tensile strength of these fibers have furthermore revealed their high toughness. This means that each individual fiber can absorb a lot of energy,” explains Prof. Dr. Andreas Greiner, who is the head of the research group Macromolecular Chemistry II at the University of Bayreuth, and who guided the research work. Also involved were researchers at the Forschungszentrum Jülich, the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, the Fraunhofer-Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems (IMWS), the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen University, the Jiangxi Normal University, Nanchang, and the ETH Zürich.

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