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Accidental Discoveries that Changed the World: Super Glue



Accidental Discoveries that Changed the World: Super Glue
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.97

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    cyanoacrylate, heat-resistant, originally, bond, tested, market, extremely, rifles, material, instantly, wounds, adhesive, promote, powerful, patent, army
     content words:    Super Glue, World War II, Harry Coover, Eastman Kodak Company, Eastman Kodak, Fred Joyner, Garry Moore, Vietnam War, National Inventors Hall


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Accidental Discoveries that Changed the World: Super Glue
By Joyce Furstenau
  

1     Have you ever broken a dish, ornament, or plastic toy? If so, you understand the sinking feeling you get when it happens. Before the invention of Super Glue, many times broken articles were discarded because they could not be repaired. An accidental discovery changed all that.
 
2     During World War II, a man named Dr. Harry Coover was working with a research team for the Eastman Kodak Company. His team was experimenting with a clear plastic material (cyanoacrylate) to make better gun sights for army rifles. No matter what they did, the plastic became extremely sticky when any moisture touched it. Because of its stickiness, his team finally gave up on the idea.
 
3     In 1951, Coover was transferred to another Eastman Kodak research facility in Tennessee. This time, he was researching a heat-resistant plastic to use for jet airplane canopies. Coover decided to try using the material that he had experimented with for the gun sights. Once again, he found it was too sticky to use for the jet canopies. However, it was at this point that he noticed something he had not thought of before. He noticed that the sticky adhesive had special properties. It was able to bond without heat or pressure.

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