Slippery subject if there is one, the condom has greatly contributed to the advancement of polymer science over the past century, because the technical constraints in this sector are very severe. The industry today offers real innovations, with extremely fine and comfortable hoods, but which nevertheless know how to remain totally waterproof, tearproof or at least very resistant and very elastic to be able to conform to our various anatomy and finally totally hypo-allergenic. Remained a delicate point, lubrication, essential for reasons of comfort but also to limit the risk of tearing. silicone oil has been used as a lubricant but loses its effectiveness during prolonged frolics. The solution could be found thanks to Professor Mark Grinstaff (Boston University) and his students: a condom that becomes slippery when it’s in contact with vaginal secretions and more generally when it’s in a humid environment. So, this is the first self-lubricating hood, the plastic film itself generates slipperiness thanks to its composition, part made of water-soluble polymers. Using a polymer that loves water when making love, this is very consistent. A full-scale test was carried out, 75% of the people solicited have approved it! We are certain that this material innovation initiated once again by the condom could find many other applications.
Commissioned by Hyundai, the architect Asif Khan have built the blackest building in the world to celebrate the Olympic Winter Games that took place in Pyeong Chang, in South Korea. The Vantablack, the darkest matter in the world, strikes again! Thanks to its millions of extra-fine and vertically ultra-squeezed nanotubes,, it traps almost all the particles of light that venture into this "forest", and transforms them into heat. The method of producing these nanotubes is a bit complicated, because it requires "growing" them in the laboratory: so difficult to paint an entire building with it! That's why the company that produces Vantablack has created VBx2, a commercial version in aerosol that does not require the use of these nanotubes. "Less" powerful, it absorbs "only" 99% of visible light while the original Vantablack absorbs 99.96%. It is nevertheless impressive to see this structure create a hole of perspective in the landscape, punctuated by thousands of white lights that simulate the appearance of a constellation. The interior is in total contrast with the exterior, but linked with the great hydrophobic properties of the Vantablack: Khan designed a vast "water room" - a multi-sensory hydrophobic installation that emits 25,000 droplets of water every minute, punctuated by the visitor's interaction with a series of haptic sensors that order movements to these droplet flows : They gather, grow and accumulate in a "lake" that drains and reappears within minutes.