A fabric that’s tougher than metal

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Scientists have created a new hydrogel material reinforced with fibres that they say is up to five times harder to break than carbon steel – but still easy to bend and stretch. That combination of properties means the new fabric could be used as the basis for artificial ligaments and tendons designed to help the body heal, or in manufacturing where a very tough but elastic material is needed. Uses could include sports clothing, helmets or bulletproof vests.

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  1. Comment received-“They profile this as a tough hydrogel but all they have done is soak a glass fiber mat in hydrogel. Glass fiber is one of the most common reinforcements for plastics. I.e. this is not new or special. I am all for innovation but it turns out many “inventors” are hyping technologies that are not new or noteworthy. I’m not sure whether it’s out of ignorance or a need for attention. I mention it because it holds back real innovation. In this case the glass fiber is doing all the work, the hydrogel has useless mechanicals.”
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