Super-Stretchy Wires Now Self-Healing Too
About a month ago researchers at North Carolina State University demonstrated a wire that can be stretched up to eight times its length, thanks to its liquid metal core. This past month has not been wasted as the researchers have now made the stretchable wires self-healing.
A self-healing material, such as the polymer used for the sheath, gets this property from its ability to reform molecular bonds that had been broken. When the liquid metal is exposed to the air, it will oxidize and solidify, preventing any of it from leaking from the polymer sheath. By pressing the severed edges back together, the polymer sheath will heal itself and the liquid metal will reconnect and allow the electrical current to flow again.
While a stretchable and self-healing wire for our devices is impressive on its own, the researchers are considering how it could be used to create complex, three dimensional structures. These structures could be build be cutting the wires into sections and then reconnecting them at different angles.
Source: North Carolina State University