The Economist October 10th 2020 pp72-73 |Science&Technology|New materials| “Joint approach” “3D printing is about to borrow an ingenious idea from biology”
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2244 is always interested in new science and technology on that basis but also as a potential for emerging investment opportunities. This brief in The Economist highlights recent work at America’s Army Research Laboratory (Frank Gardea) and Texas A&M (Svetlana Sukhishvili).
Summary of the Brief
These groups are working on “Interbonding polymer networks” (IPN). These materials in liquid form share the same viscosity allowing blending, as instructed, during a 3D printing process. In this way at least two individual types of polymer compounds, being different and having different properties but sharing the “same underlying polymerization chemistry, can be made to crosslink to form like-to-like polymers and like-to-different polymers. The result are composite structures that remain strong within and between the different polymers. An example would be “a wheel with a hard-wearing outer surface and a shock-absorbing interior. “ “Interbonding polymer networks could also make better surgical prosthetics.”