Cambridge Polymer Labs, LLC
Cambridge Polymer Labs, LLC
Cambridge Polymer Labs, LLC was a pre-War company operating the Cambridge Polymer Labs. It had multiple lucrative contracts with the United States military, specializing in nanotechnological research and robotics.
Background[edit | edit source]
Cambridge Polymer Labs, LLC was a privately-owned company established by Jon Elwood, Ericka Elwood-Woolum, and Wilfred Bergman in 2074 to research experimental smart materials that could be used to enhance the functionality of existing suits of power armor. It was made possible by a generous grant from Colonel George Kemp and the Defense Experimental Research Project Initiative, after their research into nucleostrictive and piezoelectric polymers caught their eye.
Its last military contract before the war was the development of piezonucleic lining for power armor, allowing the power armor's lining to convert ionizing radiation into electrical energy fed directly into the suit's batteries. Initial studies led the research team under Jon's wife, D.Eng Ericka Elwood-Woolum, to hypothosize that by taking a known piezoelectric material, Lead Zirconium Titanite (PZT), and properly applying a polymer of Gold and Lithium Hydride might produce the desired effect. Initial tests proved the method is sound. Radioactive energy harvest was 15x higher than current automotive fusion engines. Unfortunately, the ionic excitation in the gold that produces the harvestable electrons also created a build up of thermal waste. The heat was not substantial from a macro perspective, but due to the low shear modulus, the gold suspension in the nano weave started to break down quickly under extended use. In short, the weave destroyed itself rapidly, making it unsuitable for extended deployment. The team changed the dosing pattern on the gold to produce thinner strands through the material. The increased surface area would help dissipate the thermal energy, much like a heat sink.
This approach successfully created an efficient material with a lifetime of years, rather than days, at a negligible cost to harvest rate. Unfortunately, the new material was only technically successful: Colonel George Kemp, the military liaison for the project, rejected it out of hand, as the new material shredded under intense use. It was unsuitable for use as power armor lining and the Colonel threatened to pull funding. The team returned to the drawing board.
The project would remain unfinished for centuries, as delays mounted and the team scrambled to find a way to resolve the challenges. The Great War made the completion impossible, as while Cambridge received a direct nuclear hit, the laboratory building was spared the nuclear devastation. Elwood immediately issued an e-mail to the entire team, mandating overtime and lying that the project was nearing completion. In the meantime, he scrambled to find a ham radio and reestablish contact with the military, as all external connections were fried by the EMP. Only one person on the team was privy to the truth: His wife. He asked her to maintain the lie to avoid a panic among the researchers and ensure the completion of the project, as it was the only thing the military was willing to accept in return for extraction. Conning them was out of the question, as lying about the possession of vital military assets or intelligence was tantamount to treason.
The team scrambled in vain to produce a working prototype, but a combination of various factors, including Elwood's injuries and the deteriorating mental state of Wilfred Bergman culminated in total destruction of the company on January 16, 2078, 4:17 AM, when Bergman triggered the automated defenses, ensuring the demise of everyone associated with the project and the company.
Known products[edit | edit source]
Appearances[edit | edit source]
Cambridge Polymer Labs, LLC appears only in Fallout 4.
- P.A.M.: "Preliminary analysis complete."
Desdemona: "Anything we need to move on?"
P.A.M.: "Affirmative. Code name Patriot requires admin credentials for Code Defender security software. Cross-indexing CIT Security Administrators with 2077 Commonwealth Census Records. Filtering by surviving structures. One match found. Bergman, Wilfred. Bergman, Wilfred registered as co-owner of Cambridge Polymer Labs. Estimated 81% chance of login credentials being located at this facility."
The Sole Survivor: "What's at Cambridge Polymer?"
P.A.M.: "Cambridge Polymer Labs, LLC had several active military contracts. Specializing in robotics. The region is currently classified as "Extremely Dangerous"."
Desdemona: "After you get the password report back here. With any luck, we'll have a game plan by then."
(P.A.M.'s and Desdemona's dialogue)
- Molly: "The genesis of Cambridge Polymer Labs lies in the research of a group brilliant graduate students. Jon Elwood, Ericka Woolum, and Wilfred Bergman met during their time together at CIT. This slide shows them at their graduation. Their research into nucleostrictive and piezoelectric polymers caught the attention of Col. George Kemp in the fall of 2073. In the spring of 2074 the company was founded, with a generous grant provided by the Defense Experimental Research Project Initiative. The research produced here has resulted in several of components used in the Liberty Prime project that led to the successful defense of Anchorage. The company enjoys a strong relationship with the military and welcomes your addition to the research team that helps build a better America."
- Cambridge Polymer Labs terminals; Ericka's Terminal, Project Thesis
Initial studies have lead us to hypothosize that by taking a known piezoelectric material, Lead Zirconium Titanite (PZT), and properly applying a polymer of Gold and Lithium Hydride that a localized conversion of ionizing radiation to electrical energy might be achieved. This method of compact energy harvest may prove suitable for application to preexisting Power Armor currently in use by US armed forces.
-Dr. Ericka Elwood-Woolum D.Eng"
- Cambridge Polymer Labs terminals; Ericka's Terminal, Thermal dissipation
Initial tests have proved that the methodology is sound. Radioactive energy harvest is 15x higher than current automotive fusion engines. Unfortunately, there are still problems that we need to overcome. The ionic excitation in the gold that produces the harvestable electrons also create a build up of thermal waste. The heat is not substantial, from a macro perspective, but due to the low shear modulus, the gold suspension in the nano weave starts to break down quickly under extended use. We are going to attempt to change the dosing pattern on the gold to produce thinner strands through the material. The increased surface area should help dissipate the thermal energy, much like a heat sink."
- Thermal dissipation; Ericka's Terminal, Tensile strain
The newer dosing patterns have been successful at dissipating the heat generated by the reaction. We've taken a slight hit to the harvest efficiency, but extended the static material lifetime from a matter of days to a several years. While this is, from our perspective, already a successful experiment, the project parameters require a flexible lining that can be applied to power armor. It seems we understimated the tensile strain the armor produces and the thinner gold weave in the material ends up shredding, so to speak, under the heavy use. Col. Kemp was less than pleased, and threatened to pull the funding if we can't produce the promised results. So we need to go back to the thicker weave and find a different way to solve the thermal dissipation issue."
- Cambridge Polymer Labs terminals; Bergman's Terminal, Call from Kemp
Just got a very strange call from Col. Kemp. He asked what the status on the project was and when I explained that we were still behind schedule he didn't seem angry like he normally would. All he said was that it was very important that I keep the team working in the lab today and that I contact him as soon as the project was complete. It almost feels like he was trying to tell me something but I can't imagine what."
- Cambridge Polymer Labs terminals; Director's Terminal, It was a warning
He was trying to warn me. They hit us with a nuke. The lab was built to withstand nearly anything but a direct hit, but the EMP has blown out all external communications. I told the team that there are training maneuvers going on around town, but I don't know how long they are going to buy that. I need to find a way to get ahold of Col. Kemp to see if they can extract us to a safe location. Even if I can find a working phone somewhere, I'll never be able to get through. Maybe if I can get ahold of a ham radio I can try to reach them on an open channel."
- Cambridge Polymer Labs terminals; Bergman's Terminal, [J.Elwood] - Mandatory Overtime
>> Mandatory Overtime
Good morning everyone, I know you've all been here over night and everyone is tired but I need everyone to push through just a little longer. Dr. Elwood-Woolum has said that you are very close to cracking the problem with the Nucleostrictive lining project and I have a good feeling that today will be the day. Along with our normal snacks, I've sent a runner to Slocum's Joe for coffee and donuts. We'll be ordering Spuckies later this afternoon. I also just got off the phone with Col. Kemp and he said there may be some training exercises happening around town today, so if you hear what sound like tanks or gunfire, don't panic, it's just a drill."
- Cambridge Polymer Labs terminals; Ericka's Terminal, [J.Elwood] - Confidential
Ericka, I've sent an explanation to the team, but I need you to know what is actually going on. Please do not share this with anyone else, it may start a panic. This morning I got a call from Col. Kemp and he told me to keep our team in the lab, but before I could ask he hung up. The sound you heard outside was an atomic bomb going off. It seems to have hit south west of the city. The phone lines have been jammed, but I found a way to reach Kemp's liason and he informed me that they could only afford a detail to escort us to safety if we have vital military assets or intelligence. That is why we need to get the project finished.
I love you and I know you can do this.
- Cambridge Polymer Labs terminals; Director's Terminal, Ericka, please read
Ericka, I'm sorry.
I know I haven't been the best husband, but I've done everything I can to try to protect you since the attack. If you are reading this, I hope it is because you finished the project and can use the radio to signal for extraction.
I can't hold out any longer."
- Cambridge Polymer Labs terminals; Director's Terminal, [E.ElwoodWoolum] - Are you there?
>> Are you there?
Jon, are you there? I can't see you moving in your office and we can't wait any longer. He's going to trigger the automated defenses if we don't do something. We've mangaged to get into the crawl space and are going to try to take him by surprise. Despite everything that's happened, I want you to know that I still love you.
- Cambridge Polymer Labs terminals; Ericka's Terminal, [W.Bergman] - I'm getting us out
>> I'm getting us out
I'm not letting Jon play tyrant any longer. The isotope containment is leaking and he still won't let us out. I've gotten through his updated security subroutines and it's only a matter of time till I get control of the Facility Defenses. He's so busy trying to keep me out of the Clean Room Controls, he probably hasn't realized that by triggering a Facility Breached sweep, all the doors will open to allow the robots access.
We're fighting our way out and then I'll deal with your husband.