Green plastics, tough as steel

Moshe Kol of Tel Aviv University, Israel, and colleagues are developing durable plastics to replace steel in many engineering applications. The team has developed a new catalyst for polypropylene production, which allows them to create the most regular form of the material yet possible with the highest melting point. "Everyone is using the same building blocks, so the key is to use different machinery," Kol explains. He suggests that the new tough plastics could be used to replace heavy steel components in cars and pipework in industrial facilities.