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October Chementator Briefs

By Edited by Gerald Ondrey |

  Strength with stress Shear forces usually break bonds in polymer materials, but a research team at Duke University (Durham, N.C.; www.duke.edu) has demonstrated for the first time synthetic polymers capable of forming new bonds in the presence of shear forces that would normally break down polymer chains. Termed activated remodeling via mechanochemistry (ARM), the concept depends on a mechanically active dibromocyclopropane moiety that is embedded within a polybutadiene backbone. The dibromocyclopropane ring opens as a result of mechanical stress, forming a 2,3 dibromoalkene product that is susceptible to nucleophilic substitution. This chemistry provides the basis for remodeling and potential self-strengthening or self-repair through covalent cross-linking. The Duke team’s results raise “intriguing possibilities of localized mechanochemical self-strengthening to at-risk regions within a load-bearing material,” the authors state. Purifying aromatics Last month, BASFs Catalyst Div. (Iselin, N.J.; www.catalysts.basf.com) introduced F-24X, the company’s newest catalyst and adsorbent for aromatic purification. F-24-X — a drop-in replacement for its predecessor F-24 — is said to improve process…
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