MIT develops cheap nanofibers that are lighter and stronger than Kevlar

Fibers of a new material under an electron microscope

A group of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), led by Professor Gregory Rutledge, has developed new polyethylene nanofibers. In terms of strength, they are superior to Kevlar, which is used for the manufacture of body armor.

In this case, a method was used to obtain the finest gel fibers, which are pressed through a heated syringe. After that, a finished fabric is formed from the resulting threads using an electric field.

These gel fibers are only a few hundred nanometers in thickness, but at the same time they have ultra-high strength, the nature of which scientists have not yet been able to figure out.

Compared to carbon and ceramic fibers, the new nanofibers are much stronger and less dense. And even if they are not sufficiently resistant to stretching, they are very light and inexpensive to manufacture.