Latest in Science

Image credit:

This plastic could make paint scratches a thing of the past

A little heat is all that's needed for the self-healing to begin.
Joseph Volpe, @jrvolpe
April 8, 2016
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

University of Reading

Self-healing plastics are nothing new. In fact, IBM stumbled across the discovery of one such polymer by accident not too long ago. But now there's a new Wolverine-like plastic stealing the headlines (okay, fine... 'science journal' headlines) and this time it hails from researchers at the University of Reading in the UK. The supramolecular polyurethane, developed with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, reportedly repairs itself at body temperature (98.6 degrees F or 37 degrees C). The new material's unique properties allow it to "[flow] like a liquid" when its bonds are disrupted and reform, as its viscosity is lowered when damaged.

Since it's been proven non-toxic to humans, researchers are evaluating this new polymer for eventual use in the healthcare industry. The project's lead researcher Professor Wayne Hayes says this new material could extend the durability of bandages, reducing the potential to "damage healing skin" caused by frequently changing out the dressing. Or, adds Hayes, if engineered to gradually dissolve, it could also be used as stitches for surgical wounds.

The polymer's even being touted as a boon for self-healing paints, which would help eliminate the appearance of scrapes and scratches on your car or even smartphone. No word on whether it'll prevent your iPhone screen from cracking, though.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

TikTok and WeChat will be banned from US app stores on Sunday

TikTok and WeChat will be banned from US app stores on Sunday

View
Alphabet’s DeepMind AI is better than you at Atari games

Alphabet’s DeepMind AI is better than you at Atari games

View
MIT algorithm finds subtle connections between art pieces

MIT algorithm finds subtle connections between art pieces

View
Apex's electric supercar includes an AR race coach and partial self-driving

Apex's electric supercar includes an AR race coach and partial self-driving

View
The best wireless earbuds you can buy right now

The best wireless earbuds you can buy right now

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr