Extremetech: Plastics are amazingly versatile materials, and their usage in all manner of objects is only increasing. Virtually everything you own is at least partially composed of plastic, and that’s usually a very good thing. Plastic is light, inexpensive, and can be molded in any shape. However, it’s not always the strongest material. Many smartphone owners know the sorrow of dropping a phone and finding the fall cracked or chipped the casing. A new type of plastic developed at Duke University could change all that. This material actually gets stronger when it is stressed.