It's not often that new plastic materials are developed, let alone a new family. Now, over the past three months, not one, but two research institutes have actually gone and done both, according to the reports. At IBM Research, scientists have discovered a new family of thermoset materials that are extremely strong, light, chemically recyclable and even self-healing, depending on the conditions and the diamine monomer used to make them. PlasticsToday's Clare Goldsberry provides more details about that discovery in her article entitled IBM Research discovers new class of industrial polymers.
Across the ocean, however, material scientists received another shock: researchers at the University of Amsterdam's Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS), who had previously announced the development of what they claim is the world's first biobased, biodegradable thermosetting polymer, have now released more details about their new material, which they have named glycix.
As researchers Gadi Rothenberg and Albert Alberts tell it, they were looking for a biofuel and developed a bioplastic: a "once in a lifetime event," is how they describe their discovery, which, surprisingly, they initially made in 2011. However, as the patent was only just granted on the new thermoset material, they were unwilling to reveal any information about it until last week, when they presented a table made of glycix to the board of the University of Amsterdam.