ucb malleable-plasticsResearchers at CU-Boulder have discovered a new kind of plastic that can be reshaped or recycled either by heating or soaking in water.

Wei Zhang, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at CU-Boulder

Wei Zhang, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, led an interdisciplinary team of resear

Zhang’s research group collaborated with a team led by H. Jerry Qi, a University of Colorado Boulder professor of mechanical engineering who recently moved to the Georgia Institute of Technology. Their work was funded by the National Science Foundation.chers that published its findings in the journalAdvanced Materials late last month. Philip Taynton, a graduate student in Zhang’s research group, was part of the team.

The new material is a type of plastic called “malleable polymers.” Also known as “covalent adaptive networks,” these materials’ properties stem from reversible chemistry, which allows chemical bonds between the atoms in the polymer structure to trade places at elevated temperature.

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