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New self-healing plastics developed


Posted on Saturday, 10 May, 2014 | Comment icon 7 comments

Future space stations could benefit from this type of material. Image Credit: NASA
Researchers have come up with a new type of material with a healing mechanic based on blood vessels.
While self-healing plastics exist already, this latest material developed by a team at the University of Illinois is capable of self-repairing far more significant amounts of damage than anything that has come before it.

To build it, the researchers took inspiration from the human circulatory system. The plastic's healing properties are based on a tiny network of vessels running through the material filled with a special liquid. When the plastic breaks, the vessels are ruptured and the liquid leaks out, repairing the damage.

While self-healing plastics could have a wide range of applications in many different industries, their use in the construction of spacecraft and satellites could be the most advantageous. Damage caused by space debris or small meteorites that would otherwise prove disastrous could repair itself automatically in orbit within a matter of hours without any human intervention whatsoever.

Source: Nature.com | Comments (7)

Tags: Plastic, Self-healing

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Mikenator on 11 May, 2014, 0:51
I wanna see self healing metal like those robots in animes that get an arm blown off and regrow immediately
Comment icon #2 Posted by IBelieveWhatIWant on 11 May, 2014, 9:03
I don't know why but I really don't like this idea. My mind goes straight to what bad stuff this could be used for and honestly it outweighs the potential good stuff by a mile.
Comment icon #3 Posted by paperdyer on 12 May, 2014, 15:47
I wanna see self healing metal like those robots in animes that get an arm blown off and regrow immediately That would be more of the lizard factor like when one grows a new tail. Repairing a crack may already be possible by using polyers that have metal strength when cured.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 on 12 May, 2014, 17:15
I don't know why but I really don't like this idea. My mind goes straight to what bad stuff this could be used for and honestly it outweighs the potential good stuff by a mile. Damn those evil plastics and their evil plastic machinations.
Comment icon #5 Posted by IBelieveWhatIWant on 13 May, 2014, 9:32
Damn those evil plastics and their evil plastic machinations. Very funny, what I meant was that it won't be long before this goes to metals with faster and faster regenerative properties and with AI seemingly gets more and more advanced....long story short think Terminator 2's T-1000
Comment icon #6 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 on 13 May, 2014, 14:54
Very funny, what I meant was that it won't be long before this goes to metals with faster and faster regenerative properties and with AI seemingly gets more and more advanced....long story short think Terminator 2's T-1000 I'm sure that's a real threat...
Comment icon #7 Posted by DieChecker on 13 May, 2014, 21:01
Just hope the Doctor Who plastic people don't get a hold of this tech.


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