Adaptex

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Adaptex is an advanced plastic material developed by the superheroes Cestus and The Adaptor, based upon analysis of a material sample provided by The Adaptor. The original sample is believed to have been created by the exposure of standard polyester/urethane in a hospital gown to radiation of an indeterminate nature from a malfunctioning PET scanner. While the process by which the original sample was created remains poorly understood, Adaptex has been widely produced and used in a variety of industrial and consumer applications for almost 20 years.

Contents

Chemistry

Adaptex is a petroleum-based polymer composed of a long-chain molecule with a dense-pack valence lattice. Like a memory metal, Adaptex will retain its shape until it gets the electrons it needs to expand. In this case, the molecules are sensitive enough to react to the bioelectrochemical aura of the human body. When activated, Adaptex becomes highly elastic and supple.

Adaptex has an electrophilic covalent lattice structure. Its core molecular lattice exhibits high tensile strength and low reactivity due to a stable C-H bond polarity. The organic compounds, including alkanes, do not react with acids, bases, or oxidizing agents such as potassium permanganate or potassium dichromate at room temperature. Also, Adaptex's reaction with halogen atoms is inhibited by a stabilizing lattice structure that cannot chemically bond without reaching an extremely high activation energy threshold. An electrochemical reaction, though, is quite easy. These "paraffin hydrocarbons" (with a general molecular formula of CNH2N+2) are hooked into a lattice structure much like cyclohexane; doped at high temperatures with an interstitial carbide, like boron, for structural stability; and subjected to an intense, fluctuating magnetic field. While suspended in a solution of mercury(I) (H22+) and fluorine -- from which a precipitate metal halide is drawn -- the hydrocarbons bond with the cycloalkane-boron chain to form a covalent lattice polymer distillate. The resulting covalent bonds are electrophilic but thermally stable and almost insoluble. The boron alkane and mercury-fluorine halogen make for an inert, heat-resistant pseudofluid, "like teflon on dope".[1] This composition gives Adaptex a melting point of 1290°C and a boiling point of 1291°C.

Samples of Adaptex in various colors

Properties

Clothing or garment fashioned from the material are skin tight by definition: any portion of the material not in contact with the bioelectrochemical field molecularly contracts until it comes into contact with the field, and this, in combination with the pseudofluid properties of Adaptex provide a snug but comfortable "second skin" fit.

The nature of Adaptex is such that it absorbs electrons from the object/person with which it is in contact. Thus, as a conductor from the object to the air, it dissipates heat quite well, more efficiently than would, say, human skin. Because of the high temperatures needed to break down the material, the comparatively small exchange of electrons has no detrimental effects upon it, even over an extended period of time. A garment fashioned from Adaptex maintains a comfortable body temperature in a high heat or heavy work environment and resist wear.

Another unique property of Adaptex is its ability to detect radiation like a Geiger-Müller counter. Electrons in the radioactive field knock electrons out of the molecular lattice of the fabric, causing minor contractions in Adaptex until equilibrium with the original energy source is reestablished. An individual wearing a garment made of the material feels it becoming somewhat tighter or more snug -- though not restrictive -- in a radioactive environment.

Used for creating undergarments, the material's heat dissipating properties is of benefit to emergency and military personnel in both uncomfortably warm environments (i.e., cooling the wearer off) and cold environments (i.e., helping the outergarments heat up faster using the body's own internally generated heat without hampering movement, as would standard thermal undergarments).

Waffle-textured layers of the fabric can be fashioned through which to run tubing, further facilitating heat dissipation without excessive bulk. Adaptex’s heat dissipating properties have also been used in medical settings to help reduce fevers by lowering patients' body surface temperatures.

Because it readily absorbs and dissipates heat, Adaptex has also been used in plastic packaging, similar to conventional shrink wrap. In a frozen food wrap, the material removes heat from food and facilitates the freezing process. To open the package, a simple knife will excite the substance, and it will pull away from the cut, almost unwrapping itself. The material is also readily recyclable after use.

Tests have found Adaptex to be hypoallergenic and non-toxic, though some environmental groups have protested its use on the grounds that its "bioadhesive" properties make Adaptex litter hazardous to small animals. Advocates counter that animals can generally extricate themselves from clinging Adaptex that would impede them in any way, even if small pieces can cling tenaciously to creatures without the dexterity to remove them.

The Adaptor's Costume

Fully contracted, The Adaptor's costume is small enough to fold up and carry in a pocket (i.e., roughly the size of a billfold or small day planner). As soon as he begins squeezing into it, his bioelectrochemical aura causes it to expand to whatever size he assumes.

The strength of the material is such that The Adaptor can stretch unimpeded to his maximum length without damaging the material. As he resumes his normal shape and decreases the surface area from which his bioelectrochemical force radiates, the material undergoes molecular contraction and continues to fit him snuggly. A watchband of the same material -- affected by the power source of the watch itself -- securely holds his SSC communicator watch to The Adaptor's wrist.

Notes

  1. Original research report by Cestus: January 14, 1989
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