Special Polymer ‘Self-Destructs’ Upon Completing A Mission

By: | September 3rd, 2019

Researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a special polymer that self-destructs when it hits a certain temperature. They made a rigid-winged glider using this material. They intend to construct a spy drone to be used in enemy region, which drops required tools without leaving any trace.

Paul Kohl at the Georgia Institute of Technology, whose team developed the material, said, “This is not the kind of thing that slowly degrades over a year, like the biodegradable plastics that consumers might be familiar with,”

“This polymer disappears in an instant when you push a button to trigger an internal mechanism or the sun hits it.”

Mission Behind:

 Paul Kohl at the Georgia Institute of Technology, said, “This started off with building small sensors for the government — microphones, cameras, things that detect metal,”

Their plan was to collect information through these sensors by spreading them across a battlefield. “But you don’t want anyone to discover it and take it apart and see how it works,” says Kohl.

They ultimately created delivery vehicles made from this special polymer that leaves no trace after dropping surveillance tools over enemy territory.

Science behind:

The secret behind the disappearing of polymer is a ceiling temperature for the polymer. Below the ceiling temperature, a polymer is stable but as the polymer is heated above that ceiling temperature, the polymer will break apart into its component monomers.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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