Self-Healing Polymer Made from Available Materials

Guest_Jim_* - February 5, 2014 08:44AM in Science & Technology

I have a feeling that all of us have wished our different devices could heal themselves of those scratches we give them. While self-healing materials do exist, they are not particularly common, but that may change soon. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have recently created a self-healing polymer from commercially available materials.

When a material is broken or cut, some molecular bonds are broken. A self-healing material is able to recreate those bonds by some process. For this new material that process can be as simple as letting it alone for a day as it will heal at room-temperature. Making the polyuria-based polymer is as simple as properly mixing the correct materials, pouring it into a mold, and letting it cure for a day. After that you have a soft, elastic material.

With the ability to produce this new material almost anywhere, at any scale, and with available materials, the researchers are now searching for applications for it. One potential use could be a polyurethane paint or coating that could be easily removed when no longer needed.

Source: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign