Mayday, Mayday

Sunday, August 01, 1999
RELATED TAGS: MATERIALS SCIENCE
When planes crash, cabin fires and toxic fumes often claim more lives than the impact itself. Engineers at the University of Amherst and the federal Aviation Administration may have found a way to reduce that risk and give passengers the time they need to escape from an accident.

A plastic called PHA emits only water vapor when it burns, and it breaks down into a flame-resistant compound. A number of companies have already expressed interest in developing components made of pha once it becomes a commercial product.
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