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COOPERATIVE NEWS TIPS FROM CWRU AND UA

 COOPERATIVE NEWS TIPS FROM CWRU AND UA
 CLEVELAND, March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The following information is


provided by Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and The University of Akron (UA):
 New Materials Could Eliminate Deadly Fires
 Polymer scientists at CWRU and UA are working on cooperative research to develop composite materials made from self-extinguishing plastics that will greatly reduce the threat of fire in airplanes, automobiles and other vehicles.
 The "new materials" don't heat up during a fire like other materials do, and give off none of the toxic smoke associated with most polymer materials.
 CWRU researcher Hatsuo Ishida said the materials will eventually be commonplace in vehicles like airplanes, where fire tends to spread quickly, often with deadly consequences.
 UA researcher Frank Harris notes composite materials have a superior strength-to-weight ratio, meaning they are strong but lightweight. This makes composites particularly useful for aerospace applications because lighter aircraft can carry more freight and expend less fuel. Also, the materials are more resistant to outside variables like extreme temperatures, a characterstic that may make the composites ideal for NASA spacecraft.
 CWRU Researchers Work To Develop Improved Fuel Cell
 A group of researchers at CWRU recently received an $8 million grant to study the development of polymer proton conductors that can operate at higher temperatures and markedly improve the electrical performance of fuel cells.
 The new fuel cells would be many times more efficient than conventional cells and could operate with methanol, a renewable energy resource.
 CWRU researchers Morton Litt and Robert Salvinell will oversee the project, which could eventually have a marked impact on the practical evolution of electric cars and a more efficient process of generating electricity.
 "These polymer proton conductors could potentially change the face of energy generation," said Salvinell. "They could eventually be responsible for a drastic reduction in the usage of fuels like oil, natural gas and coal."
 Polymers Help Hard-To-Heal Wounds
 Burn victims and diabetics may benefit from a polymer compound being developed at The University of Akron that promotes healing of wounds.
 UA researcher Daniel Smith is working on a polymer film or "bandage" that adheres to the skin and accelerates the repair of slow-healing wounds like burns and skin ulcers.
 He notes that two recently synthesized epoxy-based hydrogel polymer films stick more strongely to the skin, an improvement over previously developed hydrogels that promote healing but "do not adhere aggressively" to the wound or surrounding tissues.
 Hydrogel films promote wound repair because they reduce bacterial infection, maintain a moist wound environment, and reduce pain, among other advantages over traditional dressings.
 -0- 3/16/92
 ity of Akron ST: Ohio IN: SU:


CG -- CL010 -- 8297 03/16/92 11:56 EST
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Date:Mar 16, 1992
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