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Grass used to make thinner, stronger condoms

by • February 10, 2016 • No Comments

So initially of all … no, nobody is considering of weaving together blades of grass to manufacture condoms. Scientists at Australia’s University of Queensland, yet, are having good results with condoms created of a latex with introduced nanocellulose received of a native grass. Not just are they stronger than regular latex condoms, but they may be as thin as the diameter of a human hair.

Working with the aboriginal Indjalandji-Dhidhanu People in the Camooweal region in north-west Queensland, the researchers started by harvesting spinifex grass. That grass was and so chopped into a pulp, mixed with sodium hydroxide, and so forced through a tiny opening at high pressure. This effectively peeled the nanocellulose of the pulp, leaving the highly-flexible fibers suspended in water.

When introduced to effortless latex, the nanocellulose fibers generated extra-strong yet thin condoms. In conventional “burst tests,” they were able-bodied to handle 20 percent additional pressure than regular condoms, and hold 40 percent additional volume.

“With a little additional refinement, we ponder we can engineer a latex condom that is definitely of 30 per cent thinner, and can yet pass all standards, and with additional system optimization work we can be able-bodied to manufacture devices actually thinner than this,” says U Queensland’s Prof. Darren Martin. “Late last year we were able-bodied to get down to of 45 microns on our quite initially commercial dipping run, that is around the width of the hair on your head.

Along with offering increased sensitivity, the condoms may in addition be manufactured via less material, thus lowering their cost. Both facts may lead to additional folks opting to use them, helping in the fight against sexually-transmitted diseases.

Source: The University of Queensland via Medical Daily

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