top of page

“The String and Glue of our World” is a book about the science, engineering, history, and art of making things out of composites told in a manner that is hopefully approachable, engaging, and entertaining, even for the casual reader.  It is not intended to replace or even be a textbook on the subject nor for the serious practitioner who has lots of experience with composites and needs a reference book. You don’t have to be a Ph.D. engineer or scientist to understand the book and appreciate the significance and beauty of composite materials. 
String and Glue is arranged in a sense like what Elon Musk describes as the most important way to view knowledge – as a “semantic tree”.  In that vein, I introduce first the history and motivation for the why of composites, then start with the building blocks of these materials – the elements themselves from the Periodic Table and why each of the elements I focus on are important.  This forms the trunk of the tree – the trunk of our semantic tree of knowledge of composites.  Then I build out the branches of the tree with descriptions of the strings, glues, how they are put together, and who is putting them together.  Of course, each of these three main branches has its own sub-branches.  And then toward the end of the book I give you some ideas about how to get involved in this industry and make the magic happen for yourself. Follow me on this journey into this fascinating subject and maybe learn how to make the magic happen for yourself – become a composite material aficionado. 

Cover of my book


Maker Faire Presentation


Never Miss a New Post.

Thanks for subscribing!



Ned Patton

Ned Patton, Ph.D. lives and works in Sunnyvale California.  He has more than 40 years of experience in research and technology development, and has been involved with and has been a proponent of composites for over 35 of those years.  Currently working at Northrop Grumman Marine Systems as a senior technical professional, he is actively developing composite material parts and structures for use undersea.

bottom of page