Super strong polymer for Arctic applications derived from petrochemical waste

A research team from Tomsk Polytechnic University, the University of Ghent (Belgium) and Wuhan University of Technology (China) developed a polymer which retains its strength even at extremely low temperatures, such as in the Arctic.

The main component of the material is a monomer based on dicyclopentadiene, which, in turn, is derived from petrochemical wastes.

‘Then the material is supplemented with necessary additives to improve its properties. One of such additives is synthetic rubber, we also add carbon nanotubes, fiberglass and carbon fabrics.

The resulting polymer is very light, moreover, at low temperatures its structure does not change and it remains strong. The strength of the material is higher than that of existing counterparts,’

says the Head of the Department of Organic Substances and Polymer Materials Mekhman Yusubov.

Currently, TPU chemists obtained laboratory samples of polymer. On its basis it is possible to derive various composite materials, for instance, materials for machinery, meteostations and even underwater vehicles.

‘Materials may be modified by various methods, thus increasing their stability and strength,’ the scientist notes.

Recently, the Future Chemistry Network Center was established at Tomsk Polytechnic University. The center unites leading experts in green chemistry from Great Britain, France, Russia and the USA who jointly develop eco-sound technologies to make chemical industry safer for the environment. The scientists are also elaborating new ‘smart’ materials for extreme conditions, in particular for the Arctic.