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Materials Chemistry

The Myriad Uses of Stronger Than Steel Kevlar

You’ve probably read of the recent death of Stephanie Kwolek, the American chemist who discovered Kevlar. Most people have almost certainly heard of Kevlar, in the context of bullet-proof vests, but fewer are probably aware of the vast range of applications it has, or the chemical reasons behind its strength.

Categories
Materials Chemistry

The Chemistry of the World Cup Football

A number of chemical materials are used in the manufacture of the Brazuca, the World Cup football. The majority of these materials are polymers; these are very long molecules built up from many smaller component molecules. A simple, everyday example is polyethene, used to make some plastic bags. Different classes of polymers are used to […]

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Materials Chemistry

The Metals in UK Coins

In the wake of the recent announcement of a new £1 coin to be introduced in 2017, today’s post looks at some of the metals present in the coins of the United Kingdom. All of these coins are produced using alloys, or mixtures of metals; the main metals used include copper, nickel, zinc and iron. […]

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Materials Chemistry

The Chemical Elements of a Smartphone

There are an isolated few graphics online that look at elements involved in the manufacture of a smartphone – for example, this ‘Periodic Table of iPhones’ – but there’s actually remarkably little easily accessible information out there that details the specific compounds used for specific purposes in mobile phones. This probably isn’t surprising since these […]