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Old 08-27-2019, 11:59 AM
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Question Military researchers develop self-destructing material that 'disappears in an instant

Military researchers develop self-destructing material that 'disappears in an instant' to carry out covert missions without leaving any trace
By: James Pero for Dailymail - London - 8-27-19
RE: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...tealthier.html

- A new polymer can vanish when in contact with sun light or by push of a button

- Researchers say it could be used for covert military operations

- The polymer could be used as a delivery vessel and vanish rapidly afterward

A special type of polymer capable of disappearing without a trace is being tested by the US government.

Scientists say the material, made by researchers at the American Chemical Society at the behest of the Department of Defense, could be used to deploy electronic sensors and deliver military equipment covertly by dropping off packages and leaving no sign that the device was ever there.

'This is not the kind of thing that slowly degrades over a year, like the biodegradable plastics that consumers might be familiar with,' said Paul Kohl a doctor whose team developed the material.

'This polymer disappears in an instant when you push a button to trigger an internal mechanism or the sun hits it.'

Video link: https://youtu.be/A7QXerW77I4
Self-destructing Polymers Disintegrate in Daylight.

To achieve the the rapid transition from a solid state to decomposition, researchers say they used a type of polymer with a 'low ceiling temperature,' meaning that its bonds quickly break apart when above a certain threshold.

In this case, scientists used a light-sensitive catalyst to kickstart the polymers decomposition, meaning that as soon as the material is exposed to sunlight, it begins to vanish.

This would theoretically allow an operative to send out the polymer at night, leaving no trace of it when the sun rises.

Using this method, the researchers say they were also able to adjust the timing of decomposition to create materials with a longer shelf-life.

'We have a way to delay the depolymerization for a specific amount of time—one hour, two hours, three hours,' said Kohl in a statement.

'You would keep it in the dark until you were going to use it, but then you would deploy it during the day, and you would have three hours before it decomposes.'

Photo link: https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2019/08...6920719367.jpg
Scientist have pursued the creation of a polymer that can disappear rapidly but have failed due to their instability at room temperature

Yet another version is made to be sensitive to fluorescent light, making the material practical for indoor missions.

Scientists have tried for many years to create such a material but have failed due to the polymers' instability when at room temperature.

By removing impurities from the substance before synthesis, however, they say the polymer was for more durable than its predecessors.

Though the polymer is already being incorporated into military technology, researchers say that it may have other more civilian or commercial applications as well.

Among them, they cite its potential for use as a temporary epoxy used in construction or for use as delivery vehicles to areas where recovery is difficult.
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Personal note: Hmmm - seems like spooky material. I would suggest many - many test before issuing such a product. Shelf life is short have to build it (in the dark?) then keep it our of the sum (and hopefully that's all) - but I think "we need a lot more time before issuing" such a product with a short shelf life in sunlight!!! Just my thoughts. Spooky Stuff!


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