Originally developed for aeroplane wings,the technology has the potential to revolutionize a range of industries with the capacity to move into tiny cracks and harden inside like the way blood forms a dry, protective scab to heal flesh wounds.
Made from a mixture of different carbon-based chemicals, this new healing agent produces a sheet of millions of microscopic spheres. When a crack breaks these hollow micro spheres apart, a liquid is released that moves into the newly formed gap. A chemical reaction then causes the polymerization – or hardening – of this liquid, causing it to glue to the edges of the cracks and form a hard, near-invisible filler.
The technology has been developed by a team from England’s University of Bristol, led by chemist Duncan Wass, and was presented at a Royal Society meeting in London.
Self-healing technology originally developed for aircraft wings could be used in smartphones to enable them to repair themselves if the screen gets cracked. As well as broken smartphone displays, the innovation could be used to repair numerous other objects such as car windshields, paint and bikes helmets while L’Oreal is already in talks to use a variation of the technology to produce self-healing nail varnish.
Made from a concoction of different carbon-based chemicals, the new substance contains tiny ‘micro spheres’. When these are broken, a liquid is released, moving into the newly formed gaps. A chemical reaction causes the substance to harden, effectively filling and fixing any cracks.
The researchers took inspiration from the human body and the way it heals itself.The technology could potentially save smartphone users money on screen repairs and gadget insurance.