Techno Trends

The big ideas that are changing everything

Super Strength Plastic

Researchers in Israel have developed a new catalyst that will enable commonly used plastics to replace steel in a variety of applications. Using the new process, they have created a type of polypropylene that is not only strong, but also has a very high melting point, making it a viable alternative even in high temperature environments.

The benefits of plastic over traditional steel are numerous. In addition to cheaper raw materials, plastics consume less energy in the production process, making them much more affordable to manufacture. They’re also very lightweight in comparison to most metals, so vehicles made with plastic parts can be lighter and, therefore, more fuel-efficient. Other areas being targeted for the new material include pipelines and machinery.

For information: Moshe Kol, Tel Aviv University, School of Chemistry, P. O. Box 39040, Tel Aviv  6997801, Israel; phone: +972-3-640-7392; fax: +972-3-640-9293; email:; Web site: 

Daniel Burrus' Top Twenty Technology-Driven Trends for 2013