EYE OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EYE OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Elastane fibres, coloured scanning electron microscope (SEM). Elastane, known also as spandex or the trademark Lycra, is a block copolymer of polyurethane and polyethylene glycol. It is very elastic but also, more durable than rubber. The elastomeric fibres means it can be stretched to twice its original length and immediately return to its original length once the load is removed. In clothing it is often combined with nylon, cotton or polyester. Magnification: x142 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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