Gear Graveyard January 2011 Issue

The Perils of Fantastic Plastics

Durability suffers in the pursuit of new lightweight designs.

This month’s Gear Graveyard called to mind the famous scene in the movie The Graduate when actor Dustin Hoffman is pulled aside at a dinner party and offered a word of advice: "I just want to say one word to you son . . . just one word . . . plastics." There are a myriad of polymer combinations that make up the vast realm we call plastics, so to speak of them in a general sense can be misleading. Some plastics, like the glass-fiber reinforced acetal copolymers used in a variety of marine hardware are extremely strong.

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