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Polymers

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 1991
The View article on polymers, "An Idea That Just Might Hold Water" (March 20), was appropriately guarded in recommending their use. In the drought conditions we face, we should be seeking new ways to conserve water, but recent university research is not very supportive of polymers' value. Polymers do not change the amount of water a plant uses; they only increase the water-holding capacity of the soil. Many soils have adequate clay amounts, so capacity is not a problem. There are indications that potted plants can benefit from polymer use, but the cost of field application is prohibitive.
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SCIENCE
September 10, 2012 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Imagine a substance made of about 90% water that is resilient, compatible with living tissue and can stretch to more than 20 times its own length without breaking. A team of American and Korean researchers have managed to make just such a material by combining two unremarkable gels - creating a supergel with strengths derived from both. Though it's meant to be a proof of concept, gels that are similarly tough and stretchy could one day be used to make replacements for cartilage and other biological tissues, which must be flexible enough to work inside a living body while also strong enough to bear the forces exerted on it. The gels being studied consist of chains of linked polymers that float in water, their primary ingredient.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 15, 1990 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Researchers at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, England, have fabricated light-emitting transistors, or diodes, from organic polymers and predict that these diodes could be used to make inexpensive displays for electronic equipment, possibly including television screens. Light-emitting diodes made from conventional metallic semiconductors are expensive and too inefficient for most such uses.
BUSINESS
November 18, 2011 | By Deborah Netburn, Los Angeles Times
In Canada, you'll soon have two choices when paying for things: plastic or plastic. The country is planning on phasing out paper money and replacing it with all-plastic notes made out of a single thin sheet of polymer. This week the country introduced the first of the plastic notes — the $100 bill. In a statement, the Bank of Canada asserted that the new notes would last twice as long as the old paper bills, and that they're recyclable. But the real reason the country is switching to plastic?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 1991 | FRANK MESSINA, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
They are an unlikely savior, resembling a handful of coarse salt rather than an effective means of water conservation. For years, gardeners have mixed the tiny water-absorbing polymer crystals with soil as a way of keeping the earth moist between waterings. But in the deepening water crisis gripping Southern California, polymers--which are capable of absorbing up to 450 times their weight in water--are enjoying a surge in popularity.
NEWS
March 20, 1991 | LYNN SIMROSS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Trying to save water and still preserve your plants and yard? Tiny white crystals that look like rock salt, but that can absorb up to 40 times their weight in water, might help. The synthetic crystals, called polymers, are selling fast in garden stores and nurseries, and at least one tree service is field-testing them in California. "A lot of researchers are looking at polymers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 4, 1989 | IVAN AMATO, Ivan Amato is chemistry/materials science editor of Science News Magazine, from which this article is adapted. and
"It's tougher than weather, clear as crystal, flexible as paper and can even transform baby breaths or speeding stardust into tiny electrical signals that you can keep an eye on." That's what engineer Victor Chatigny of Penwalt Corp. in Valley Forge, Pa., might say if he made a television ad for a seemingly does-it-all plastic that his company sells as Kynar Piezo Film.
BUSINESS
April 27, 1989
Du Pont: First-quarter profit rose 25% to $736 million from a year ago. The chemical company based in Wilmington, Del., reported that sales rose 10% to $8.7 billion, compared to last year. The company said the improved report reflected strong worldwide demand, higher selling prices and higher crude oil prices. The company's major products are petroleum through its subsidiary, Conoco, nylon and other fibers, polymers and agricultural chemicals. Tables, Page 12
SCIENCE
September 10, 2012 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Imagine a substance made of about 90% water that is resilient, compatible with living tissue and can stretch to more than 20 times its own length without breaking. A team of American and Korean researchers have managed to make just such a material by combining two unremarkable gels - creating a supergel with strengths derived from both. Though it's meant to be a proof of concept, gels that are similarly tough and stretchy could one day be used to make replacements for cartilage and other biological tissues, which must be flexible enough to work inside a living body while also strong enough to bear the forces exerted on it. The gels being studied consist of chains of linked polymers that float in water, their primary ingredient.
BUSINESS
August 11, 1991 | DONALD WOUTAT, TIMES STAFF WRITER
They smile patiently around here at the plastics jokes and the inevitable references to the 1960s movie "The Graduate," in which career-bound Dustin Hoffman was counseled that the future lay in plastics, that dog-eared symbol of everything artificial. The young man in the movie didn't take the advice, but Akron did.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 2011 | By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times
Harry Wesley Coover Jr., the inventor of Super Glue, the powerful adhesive whose uses extend beyond the household to industry and medicine, has died. He was 94. Coover died of congestive heart failure Saturday at his home in Kingsport, Tenn., said his daughter, Dr. Melinda Coover Paul. Coover once was described as "one of the true legends of the adhesive industry," and his invention of what came to be known as Super Glue — among other brand names — was the result of an unexpected discovery.
NEWS
March 22, 2008 | Karin Klein, Karin Klein is a Times editorial writer.
Late to every trend, I missed the first Body Worlds show at the California Science Center. Also the second. It was too much for my morbid soul, this notion of bodies preserved by replacing water with polymers, flayed and partly filleted to reveal their innermost selves, then posed jauntily for exhibit. I heard that people loved it. Ugh. Some were even inspired to donate their own bodies. Lunatic. As it happened, the media invitation to view Body Worlds 3, now on view through Sept.
BUSINESS
October 27, 2003 | From Associated Press
Golf courses, sod farms and suburban lawns could stay greener with technology developed by a team of retired Deere & Co. engineers. With the help of a local engineering firm, the five-member team has invented a machine that injects liquid polymer into grass turf. The petroleum-based polymer helps grass retain moisture at its roots, reducing the need for water. "A Phoenix golf course spent $830,000 on water last year.
WORLD
November 24, 2002 | Anna Gorman, Times Staff Writer
TIJUANA -- Cash has taken on a shiny new face in Mexico, where the government has introduced currency that is supposed to outperform the standard peso -- lasting longer, staying drier and even helping prevent the spread of bacteria. Mexico recently debuted the plastic 20-peso note, designed to be more durable than paper money. The bills cost more to produce but are expected to last four times longer than ordinary pesos, which often became ragged and ripped after nine months.
NEWS
August 18, 2002 | DAVID GRAM, ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
It's taken two years into the new millennium, but the state of Vermont is about to complete its bridge to the 21st century. It's not a political slogan, but an actual bridge, reinforced with plastic and outfitted with fiber-optic sensors that allow traffic and stress on the structure to be monitored from 50 miles away.
MAGAZINE
November 14, 1999 | Ed Leibowitz
Long reviled for its formlessness and lack of biodegradability, the plastic bag is at last attaining respect. In the suburban satire "American Beauty," it swells to bursting with the spirit of love as the star of a disaffected teenager's sublime video. And last month, it held rapt an audience of several hundred at a Caltech lecture. The subject? "Grocery Bags to Baseball Bats: Polymers and Us."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 15, 1985
Paul J. Flory, a Nobel Prize-winning chemist and a lifelong human rights activist, has died of a massive heart attack at age 75. Flory, a pioneer in polymer chemistry who won the Nobel Prize in 1974, was found dead Monday in his car in Big Sur, his wife, Emily, said.
BUSINESS
November 19, 1991 | PATRICK LEE and MICHAEL PARRISH, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Unocal Corp. said Monday that it will announce this week layoffs at its headquarters office and has found a buyer for its polymer manufacturing plants--including two in California--as it continues to trim in hard economic times. Unocal's intention to sell the manufacturing group was announced last spring. Belt-tightening among the 920-employee Los Angeles headquarters staff was announced to workers in an Aug. 2 internal memo. Richard J.
BUSINESS
May 13, 1999 | Reuters
Procter & Gamble Co. said Wednesday that it will launch a new version of Cheer laundry detergent the company says will help preserve washable cotton fabrics. P&G said a new technology has produced Liquifiber, a cellulose polymer similar in structure to cotton fiber. During the wash cycle, Liquifiber interweaves itself with fabric fibers, reducing their tendency to break. The soap will make its debut this summer.
NEWS
June 7, 1998 | VICKI SMITH, ASSOCIATED PRESS
When Don Weaver saw the bridge deck dangling from a crane, it didn't look quite right. The panel being maneuvered into place over the rushing creek near his home was not made of steel or cement, the usual materials used for bridges in his flood-prone rural neighborhood. "It had these honeycomb tubes running through it," Weaver said. "It was some wild-looking stuff." It was plastic. And Weaver drove right over the small bridge. "I never thought twice about it," he said.
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