Skip to comments.Super-stretchy jelly can take a hit - Mix-and-match hydrogel is most resilient yet.
Posted on 09/08/2012 2:00:12 PM PDT by neverdem
Your eyes arent deceiving you you just watched a metal ball bounce off a sliver of jelly. But you wouldnt put this jelly in a sherry trifle: it is a sophisticated hydrogel developed by Zhigang Suo, a materials engineer at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and his colleagues1.
A hydrogel is a network of polymers that soaks up lots of water to form a jelly-like material. But most shatter easily and dont stretch far without breaking. Some of the toughest hydrogels are used to make soft contact lenses, and researchers want to make them more robust, for use in replacement cartilage or as scaffolds for growing artificial organs.
Suos hydrogel is made from a mixture of two polymers alginate and polyacrylamide. Each polymer forms networks using different types of chemical bond: alginate molecules are linked together by ionic bonds, and polyacrylamide molecules by stronger covalent bonds. When the gel is stretched, hit or torn, the ionic bonds can break and reform throughout the material, dissipating energy over a wide area and causing fewer of the covalent bonds to be irreversibly ruptured. The covalent bonds hold the material together, allowing it to spring back to its original shape...
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...
Soooo... Can this be used in superball technology?
If this is were to replace the gel found in disposable diapers currently, we could give a whole new meaning to the term “bouncing baby”!
or someday maybe bullet resistant clothing?
There are several research papers on this or very similar, dating back at least 6 years.
Do not taunt Super Happy Fun Ball!
That stuff looks almost strong enough to prevent Sandra Fluke from getting pregnant.
Look for something else to make my new spinal discs from.
Good ol’ Zhigang. I always had confidence in him and knew that he would come through!
Are we absolutely sure it’s not okay to eat this stuff?
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