Clay- and Water-Based Hydrogels: Possible Alternative to Plastic

Plastic polymers are efficient, cheap and easy to make—but not very environmentally friendly. Hydrogels had previously not been really considered a viable alternative, because they're, well, gels. But by attaching them to clay, that's all changed. » 1/21/10 7:40pm 1/21/10 7:40pm

Self-Refrigerating Plastic Sheets Could Make Ultimate Heatsink

Researchers at Penn State have cooked up a new plastic that can be cooled by simply running a current through it. It uses the electrocaloric effect to rearrange its individual atoms when charged, allowing for heat to more easily come and go. By wrapping up a chip in the stuff and zapping it with current, researchers… » 8/12/08 1:20pm 8/12/08 1:20pm

Self-healing Polymer Mimics Human Skin Behaviour

There is a new material that can heal itself in case of a scratch. It uses a concentrated polymeric ink, which flows out of a vascular system that mimics our own skin. The healing stops after seven cycles but "this limitation might be overcome by implementing a new microvascular design based on dual networks." » 6/12/07 9:04am 6/12/07 9:04am