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Polymer Science and Engineering: The Shifting Research Frontiers
respects. It is no accident that civilian boats are now manufactured almost entirely from polymer composites. The potential advantages are attractive for high-speed craft such as hydrofoils, particularly since corrosion problems would be eliminated. As the effectiveness of armor-piercing projectiles reduces the importance of bulk armor, polymer-based materials should come to the fore. Unmanned vehicles will become cheaper and more effective. The performance of shallow-draft vehicles for river and beach landing operations will be enhanced by light weight. Transport of marine (as well as land) vehicles will become faster and easier with lighter weight. Polymer-based hull coatings that afford a low-friction skin for marine vehicles could provide a military breakthrough.
Achievement of a low radar, sonar, optical, or source signature is a critical military objective. Aircraft need a low radar reflective surface. Ships and particularly submarines need a low sonar reflective surface. Land-based vehicles also need these features. Polymer-based materials can be uniquely adapted and tailored to achieve the stealth objective. This is an active but still emerging field.
Business Week. 1993a. "R&D Scoreboard: In the Labs, the Fight to Spend Less, Get More." June 28, pp. 102-127.
Business Week. 1993b. "The Global Patent Race Picks Up Speed." August 9, pp. 57-58.
Business Week. 1994. "Who Says Science Has to Pay Off Fast? Japan Is Pursuing Long-Term Projects—Just As the West Backs Off." March 21, pp. 110-111.
Chemical & Engineering News. 1993. "Facts & Figures for the Chemical Industry." Vol. 71, No. 26, June 28, pp. 38-83.
Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology (FCCSET) . 1992. Advanced Materials and Processing: The Fiscal Year 1993 Program. A report by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, FCCSET Committee on Industry and Technology. (Available from Committee on Industry and Technology/COMAT, c/o National Institute of Standards and Technology, Rm. B309, Materials Building, Gaithersburg, MD 20899.)
National Science Board (NSB). 1992. The Competitive Strength of U.S. Industrial Science and Technology: Strategic Issues. A report of the NSB Committee on Industrial Support for R&D. NSB 92-138. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
National Science Board (NSB). 1993. Science & Engineering Indicators 1993. NSB 93-1. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
National Science Foundation (NSF). 1992.National Patterns of R&D Resources: 1992. NSF 92-330. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Plastics Institute of America. 1992. 1991-1992 Directory of Polymer Science and Engineering Programs. Plastics Institute of America, Fairfield, N.J. (Available from Stevens Institute of Technology, Fairfield, N.J.)
Ries, P., and D.H. Thurgood. 1993. Summary Report 1992—Doctorate Recipients from United States Universities. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. (The Survey of Earned Doctorates is conducted for the following agencies of the U.S. government: National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, National Institutes of Health, National Endowment for the Humanities, and U.S. Department of Agriculture.)