The discovery of Titan is due -fortunately- to an error of researchers of Almaden IBM Research Center in San Jose, California. The new family of reusable plastics is extremely flexible ( the researchers have already dubbed it, Titan ) and has many other potential. According to the authors of the discovery, this ecological material could be used in aircraft construction, greatly reducing the environmental impact .
So far nothing new, but the discovery gains a revolutionary value because it is the first thermosetting plastic (formed by heat) that can be recycled. Dr. Jeanette Garcia has found the new polymer due to an oversight : one of the three components of a chemical reaction is not in fact been included in the experiment. The scientist has found in her hands a completely different product from what she was trying to reproduce: a piece of plastic very durable and so hard as to require a hammer to be able to shatter.
A polymer, produced by simple ingredients randomly combined, which proved to be extremely strong and stable. This innovative material can be decomposed in acid solution, returning the original raw materials. In this way the chemical components that compose it can be reused easily and infinite times. Unlike other coatings, such as that composed bakelite radios and telephones, the new plastic can then be 100% recycled, reducing waste and the waste of resources .
The thermoset materials are joined to carbon fibers and are used in aircraft and vehicle construction, by virtue of their high strength. At the end of their lives, these expensive components can not be recovered. Thanks to this discovery, new plastics, even capable of self-repair using a reconstructive gel, it will be possible to extend the life of aircraft components, with significant cost savings and reduced environmental impact .