"In 2002, after the attacks, Caltech scientist, Julia Kornfield and colleagues began working on a polymer that could prevent jet fuel from being used as an explosive weapon. Their results are published in this week's issue of Science. Kornfield's team, including Ming-Hsin "Jeremy" Wei, one of the first authors of the paper, created a polymer, a large molecule, called a megasupramolecule that can link together with other megasupramolecules to form massive chains.
The megasupramolecules act a little bit like chains with tiny bits of velcro at the end of each one. They can break apart, and then automatically link back together. Watch Kornfield's explanation of how megasupramolecules work:
When mixed in with jet fuel, the megasupramolecules help the fuel flow more easily through the engine, and, in crash situations, prevent the fuel from "misting", or turning into tiny droplets. Misting is fine during normal engine operation, but in a crash the sudden dispersal of fuel over a wide area can make it explosive when it meets a heat source.
"Above all," Kornfield said in a press release, "We hope these new polymers will save lives and minimize burns that result from post-impact fuel fires.""
http://www.popsci.com/polymer-with-velc ... -explosive
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