Phenylene Vinylene Oligomer

Say that in a meeting and collect your brownie points. Or just say, “You know, the plastic that changes color when it’s stretched”. New Scientist has news of research being performed at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland into a polymer that visually indicates it’s reaching its breaking point.

Formally known as “elasto-plastic” deformation, anyone who has tried to fold/break their old credit card has run into what the article calls “the point of ‘non-recoverable deformation’ at which it becomes seriously weakened.” Their first efforts are apparently going into creating fishing line an angler could inspect under UV light. The hope is they’ll soon be able to create a material that can be visually inspected in normal light, for use in such things as tamper-resistent packaging. In the meantime, fishermen will be opening up a new can of…. PVO…. on fish everywhere. But will they stop tugging on tangled lines even if they can see it isn’t helping?