Tear-resistant rubbery materials could pave the way for tougher tires

Weak “cross-linkers” inserted into the materials make them harder to tear

A close up photo of a car's tire while it drives on a black top road.

Tires wear down over time and release tiny plastic particles into the environment, but a new design strategy for rubbery materials could limit this pollution.

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A new material design could reduce pollution where the rubber meets the road.

Strategically adding weak points along microscopic chains called polymers actually makes them harder to tear, researchers report in the June 23 Science.