A Recipe For Plastic That's Mightier Than Steel

Here's a challenge: Try to make ordinary soda-bottle plastic stronger than steel. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst say they have converted simple polyethylene into ultralight fibers that by weight are seven times stronger than steel. Polymer scientist Roger S. Porter says the fibers could be used in applications such as strong, lightweight doors for cars, bulletproof armor, inert surgical implants, and even sails for America's Cup yachts.

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