We may have found one of the world's strongest materials hidden in plain site in a Kickstarter campaign for a thin polymer ribbon called Braen.
Even if it's hard to confirm claims that Braen (pronounced like "brawn") is the lightest, strongest, and most adaptable material that's ever been invented, it still seems pretty damn durable, capable of withstanding over 2,000 pounds of pull strength.
Here's how it works. First, heat the strand of ribbon with hot air or water, which enables it to take to its desired shape. Adhere the strand around an object and to itself to form a bond, kind of like tape. Finally, let the shape cool and set for a few minutes until its molecules fuse. To reshape, simply heat it up again and repeat.
"The inspiration for Braen is the culmination of a lifetime's worth of experience in material and composite sciences combined with the little frustrations that we all encounter daily as outdoorsmen, homeowners, parents, etcetera," Braen representative Dustin McWilliams told Digital Trends. "We wanted to create a material that was strong but lightweight, industrial quality without requiring industrial equipment to use and took advantage of the inherent characteristics of thermoplastics."
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McWilliams said high strength polymeric fibers that make Braen so special but didn't go into more detail about it's mechanical composition.
Braen suggests their are thousands of uses for its material -- from towing to repairs and constructing custom-fit handles. In fact, the company encourages customers to find their own use and let them know.
"The most exciting thing is going to see how people are going to use it," McWilliams said. "Seemingly every time we show the material to someone new, they have ideas for its use that we never considered."
In the final day of its Kickstarter campaign, Braen has raised over $74,500 from over 1,800 backers. Kickstarter rates include $20 for a 20-foot roll, $100 for a 152-foot roll, and $340 for 20 x 20-foot rolls.