C Marshall Fabrication Machinery, Inc.

Paper Shrugged?

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In the metal fabrication machinery industry we talk steel steel steel all day long…and we love it.

Technology has come a long long way in metal fabrication, and we at C Marshall Fabrication Machinery don’t mind ringing our own bell and saying that we are the top of the game.  But technology changes everyday.  We keep up with it not only because we want to, but because we have to.

Ayn Rand wrote a fiction novel back in 1957 called Atlas Shrugged.  It was arguably one of the most important classics ever written.  As one reads this great work of art, one could almost say she was prophetic in her prose.  She writes of socialism, capitalism, industry, and politics in a way that points to some of the problems we see today.  But it is hidden in entertaining fiction.

Great story!  If you’ve never picked it up, you should.  Also included in the work is her description of technologies that at the time were considered science fiction.

Not so much today.

One of the main characters in the book is Hank Rearden, owner of the largest steel company in the US.  He invents a steel called rearden metal that is “to steel what steel was to iron”.  It is an alloy containing iron and copper among other things and is blue-green in color.  Stronger and lighter than normal steel, it almost sounds like the titanium we have today.  You will have to read the book to find out what it was used for and integral it was to the story.  Again, I strongly suggest you do.

The point is, she dreamed technology as other fiction and science fiction writers have done for years only to later have those dreams become a reality.  I’m sure you are familiar with quite a few examples of this, so no need to go there.

But there is a new one on the block I would like to talk about.

Buckypaper.  Yup.  That’s the name!

Invented by an FSU Professor, Dr. Ben Wang, this stuff is 10 times lighter than steel and 250 times stronger.  Yes, 250 times!

Buckypaper is made from “buckyballs” amazingly strong fibers about 1/50,000th the diameter of a human hair and was named after Buckminsterfullerene, a molecule whose powerful atomic bonds make 2 times as hard as a diamond.

Their discovery contributed  directly to the development of buckypaper.

Not only strong it is also highly conductive to heat and electricity.

Sounds like something right out of science fiction huh?  🙂

Michael Graves


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