Asbestos substitute

Published: Saturday 31 January 1998

Scientists in the US have developed a fire-resistant plastic. E Giannelis and his team at Cornell University, USA, have developed a method to mix organic polymers with clays on a micro level. The modified polymer-mineral blend exhibits increased heat and flame resistance. The Cornell group succeeded in mingling the two chemically dissimilar materials at the nanometre (millionth of a millimetre) scale into a nanocomposite substance. They prepared nanocomposites from a variety of polymers including polystyrene, polyesters and polyethylene oxide.

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