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vignesh
vignesh • Oct 5, 2011

New Mathematical Breakthrough In Plastic Industry

Research paper published in the magazine SCIENCE reveals the long hard work of researchers and scientists towards the production of plastics. This new technique devised by research team from University of Leeds and Durham University can give a totally new phase to plastic production.

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All this started almost 10 years ago with collaboration between academic and industrial scientists. The sole aim of such a project was to search out for better ways to build large macromolecules. Macromolecules are the building blocks of plastic and they decide their overall physical and chemical properties. Until now, industry developed a plastic then found a use for it, or tried hundreds of different ways to see which worked. This in turn turned out to be bit troublesome. However now the research team has developed a mathematical model to save manufacturing industries time, energy and money.

The mathematical model that they developed uses two pieces of mathematical codes. The first one will predict how the polymer will flow on the basis of its links with nearby molecules. While the other code will predict the shape that these molecules will take when they becomes chemically active. These models were enhanced by careful experiments on synthesised polymers and hence are said to be quite efficient.

Dr. Daniel Read, from the School of Mathematics, University of Leeds, and head of the research team, said, "Plastics are used by everybody, every day, but until now their production has been effectively guesswork. This breakthrough means that new plastics can be created more efficiently and with a specific use in mind, with benefits to industry and the environment”.

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The plastic industry is trying out new combination of materials for efficient production. It is moving from oil based materials to sustainable and renewable materials. So with the help of such a model all the possibilities of new bio polymeric sources can be predicted. All that is required is a couple of changes in the mathematical code.

This could be yet another turning point in modern day industry. The onset of plastic was one of the biggest revolutions. Likewise this could be the second one.

Source: ScienceDaily

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