Super Ability Of The Plastic Against High Speed Beads Like Bullets.

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This science or technology news article for kids and elders below is about the new research done by the Rice research scientist Jae-Hwang Lee, in which they developed a modified version of plastic which is so powerful that it does not allow glass beads to pass through it when fired with high speed.

The group was led by Rice materials scientist Ned Thomas, the William and Stephanie Sick Dean of Rice’s George R. Brown School of Engineering, and Rice research scientist and lead author Jae-Hwang Lee.

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This modified plastic is made up of a special and popular type of plastic called polyurethane. Polyurethane is a type of polymer which is a chain of organic units, joined by urethane links. It has an important property of a resistance against heat (temperature resistivity) i.e. it does not melt even at high temperature.

Polyurethanes are used in the manufacture of flexible, high-resilience foam seating, rigid foam insulation panels, microcellular foam seals and gaskets, durable elastomeric wheels and tires, electrical potting compounds, high performance adhesives, surface coatings and surface sealants, synthetic fibers, carpet underlay, hard-plastic parts (e.g., for electronic instruments), hoses and skateboard wheels.

Liquid polyurethane is a polymer; it is commonly used in Paints and Varnishes. Hard form of this polyurethane is also a polymer retaining many similar properties as that of in liquid form. Lee developed polyurethane which is simpler and more organized form; it is developed by mounting alternate slice of glassy polymer on the rubbery polymer.

In this experiment by Jae-Hwang Lee, the tiny glass bead was fired with the speed of nearly a mile per second on this plastic material. The result of this experiment was quite impressive, the beads failed to pass through the plastic material. First few layers were pressed together as expected. Instead of breaking, they melted together liked liquid. After millionth of a second the molten plastic hardens again with the bead locked inside it.

“The polymer has actually arrested the bullet and sealed it,” Thomas said, holding a hockey puck-sized piece of clear plastic with three bullets firmly embedded. “There’s no macroscopic damage; the material hasn’t failed; it hasn’t cracked. You can still see through it. This would be a great ballistic windshield material.

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This experiment can have a wide range of application in defence field for the manufacturing the body armour, very hard and lightweight plastic gears like aerospace parts and mechanical parts for the various safety purposes and low cost etc. This experiment has great importance in material science of the future.

References: http://news.rice.edu/2012/10/30/microbullets-reveal-material-strengths-2/  . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymer  .

Science Dictionary For Kids / Important Words / Kids Definitions:

Polymer : – It is a mixture of the compounds with a repeating structural unit linked through the process of polymerization.

Polyurethane : – A plastic with carbon-containing molecules linked through other molecules called urethanes.

Material Science : – It is kind of scientific study related to the matter and the creation of new substances.

Tell Your All Friends, and Keep Reading Science And Technology Articles For Kids. By- Himanshu Kumar Singh.