MIT chemists have developed a new way to modify thermoset plastics.
Thermosets, which include epoxies, polyurethanes, and rubber used for tires, are found in many products that have to be durable and heat-resistant, such as cars or electrical appliances. One drawback to these materials is that they typically cannot be easily recycled or broken down after use, because the chemical bonds holding them together are stronger than those found in other materials such as thermoplastics.
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