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Blunt Answer: Cracking the puzzle of elastic solids' toughness

Soft, springy materials like rubber and skin don't tear easily because they stretch before breaking apart. For decades, however, detailed understanding of how that stretchiness toughens these materials has eluded researchers.

Now, researchers from the DuPont Company in Wilmington, Del., and Cornell University have come up with a comprehensive explanation–based on both experiments and computer modeling–for the toughness of soft solids.

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