New Polymer Hardens When Heated

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The new material was inspired by organisms that thrive in extreme-heat habitats like Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park
The new material was inspired by organisms that thrive in extreme-heat habitats like Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park
Jim Peaco, National Park Service

Hokkaido University’s ongoing research into hydrogels has borne fresh fruit: a new polymer-based material that, unlike other polymers, hardens when heated – by 1,800 times.

At room temperatures the substance is a soft see-through gel. But heated to 60° C (140° F), it hardens, turns opaque, and becomes strong enough to lift a 10-kg (22-lb) weight.

Hokkaido researchers Takayuki Nonoyama and Jian Ping Gong were apparently inspired by natural proteins that stay stable inside thermophiles – organisms living in extremely hot environments like springs or deep-sea thermal vents. Such proteins would ordinarily denature, but those inside thermophiles have adapted to the high temperatures to stay stable.

The team was able to develop a cheap, safe polyacrylic gel by dunking polyacrylic acid into a calcium acetate solution. “Polyacrylic acids are used in disposable diapers and calcium acetates are used in food additives,” Jian Ping Gong explains in a press release.

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Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).

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