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U.S. Army partners with Case Western Reserve University to create and produce new polymer

The program grants Case Western, as well as several other subcontractors, $5.4 million throughout the five-year agreement

CLEVELAND — Case Western Reserve University has partnered with the United States Army to manufacture a new "lightweight" and "high-performance" polymer. 

A polymer, scientifically speaking, is a substance that is the combination of molecules that bond together. According to a press release from the university, polymers are "the basis of synthetic materials, including plastics, fibers, rubber, films, paints, membranes and adhesives." 

The agreement awards CWRU with $5.4 million- with a possible increase of up to $11 million- alongside PolymerPlus LLC to develop and produce a polymer material over the coming years. 

RELATED: Case Western Reserve University scientist granted $3.8 million to study freeze-dried synthetic platelets

The Army did however say that a portion of the funds will go to several other subcontractors. 

“Case Western Reserve University and PolymerPlus can continuously manufacture complex combinations of materials into unique structures that are difficult to generate even with sophisticated laboratory techniques,” said Joseph Lenhart, chief of the Polymers Branch at the Army lab. “We see tremendous opportunities for improving the performance of protective systems and weapons. Longer term, we are excited about the applications we have not even imagined." 

Case Western is the first school in the country to offer a Bachelor of Science program in polymer science, as well as a stand-alone polymer department.