Sticky fibres

Published: Sunday 31 May 1998

Scientists from the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) have recently patented a breakthrough biotechnological process that can be employed to produce kevlar aramid fibres used extensively in aircraft, space systems and rocket motor casings. These are also used as high-strength materials to make fibre-reinforced polymer matrix composites that find various applications in aircraft as well as space-related industries. DRDO's newly-patented process overcomes a major hurdle faced in all conventional modes of developing kevlar aramid fibres -- poor surface bonding -- by exposing these to a substance produced by a certain bacteria in a complex organic medium. DRDO claims that the process improves the adhesive properties of the fibres by as much as 30-50 per cent.

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