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Fast molecular rearrangements hold key to plastic's toughness
Date:12/1/2008

ut the force applied. They believe this increased motion allows the material to flow without breaking.

"When you pull on it, you increase the mobility in the material," Ediger says. "The act of pulling on it actually transforms the glass into a liquid that can then flow. Then when you stop pulling on it, it transforms back to a glass."

The work has benefited from collaboration between chemists and engineers in a Nanoscale Interdisciplinary Research Team (NIRT) supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which includes UW-Madison chemical and biological engineering professor Juan de Pablo and groups at the University of Illinois and Purdue University.

"From the most fundamental perspective, we're trying to understand why pulling on a glass allows it to flow," Ediger says. "The answer to that question will help us to better model the behavior of real materials in real applications."


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Contact: Mark Ediger
ediger@chem.wisc.edu
608-262-7273
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Source:Eurekalert

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