Veritasium
Hard Science

Unbreakable: Watch a Spray-On Polymer Let Objects Survive a 148-Foot Fall

Indestructibility for armored vests and melons, too.

Jess VilvestreDecember 8th 2016

A video of a seemingly indestructible watermelon is making the rounds on the internet. The melon’s uncharacteristic toughness and durability despite being dropped off a tower and hacked at with an axe is due to a coating of LINE-X, a protective polymer with super strength.

LINE-X is mostly known for its use in making incredibly tough truck bedliners, but the polymeric coating can protect more than vehicle parts and squishy fruit.

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Veritasium

Tests conducted by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers (USACE) in 2006 showed that LINE-X-protected buildings could withstand up to 1,100 pounds of explosives. The inner walls of the Pentagon are already lined with the material to help it withstand attacks from terrorists or other threats, but civilian structures of the future could potentially use it to help combat the effects of natural disasters like hurricane or earthquakes.

Some have voiced concerns that super-polymers may contain carcinogens and toxins that can pollute the environment, but those claims are still disputed. If LINE-X is completely non-toxic like the company claims, perhaps it could one day be used within the healthcare industry. Who wouldn’t want a super-strong, flexible bone to replace the one they broke?

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