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UK researchers develop a novel self repairing material that can mend even cracked screen of a smartphone.
It is quite common to end up with a cracked smartphone screen; however in future this may cause no worries.
Thanks to researchers in the UK who have developed a novel technology due to which the broken screen of a smartphone is likely to self repair.
Researchers claim that besides smartphone the material has the capacity to integrate almost everything right from the broken smartphone screens to nail varnish. This amazing product would be available in the next five years.
The self healing technology was originally developed for aviation industry and it helps the airplane wings to self heal while in flight.
Mechanism of Self Repair:
The novel material is a combination of different carbon based chemicals which produces a sheet of millions of microscopic spheres. Whenever there is a crack on the surface these microscopic spheres move apart and a liquid spreads into the newly formed gap. The chemicals present in the liquid undergo polymerization or hardening of the liquid which ultimately sticks the edges of the cracks and forms a hard filler which is almost invisible.
Researchers say they have been inspired by the blood clotting process in humans which is a sort of self healing wherein the blood turns into a hard protective scab to heal wounds in flesh. The novel healing agent also has the capacity to move into tiny cracks and then undergo catalyzed chemical reaction which helps in healing of the synthetic surface.
Developed by a team from England’s University of Bristol, led by chemistry professor Duncan Wass, the technology was presented at a Royal Society meeting that was held in London last month.
Professor Wass told Chris Green at the The Independent: “We took inspiration from the human body. We’ve not evolved to withstand any damage – if we were like that we’d have a skin as thick as a rhinoceros – but if we do get damaged, we bleed, and it scabs and heals. We just put that same sort of function into a synthetic material: let’s have something that can heal itself.”
It seems, in some cases the team was able to achieve 100 percent recovery of mechanical strength.
As per Leo King, Forbes reporter, this technology has the potential to revolutionize a range of industries including the beauty industry. It seems L’Oréal might use this technology and develop a self hearing nail varnish.
King adds: “While the Bristol researchers have focused on aviation, a hungry consumer tech industry is expected to take it on. In order to achieve success, manufacturers would need to add the formula to existing materials, potentially requiring only a small manufacturing change. But Wass adds: ‘The devil is in the detail and they would need to check that it doesn’t adversely affect other properties’.”
The technology could further also be applied on other products that are made up of carbon composite materials such as bicycle frames and wind turbines said Professor Wass.
He added: “Composite materials are increasingly used in modern airlines, military aircraft and wind turbines. They are very stiff and strong but very light. That’s perfect for aerospace… but the problem is if they are damaged, they are difficult to protect and repair. Our technology would enable you to maybe extend the maintenance schedule or use less material without compromising safety.”
Referring to the role of the “healing agent” in the field of aviation, Professor Wass added that the “healed” aircraft wings were often as strong as they had been originally.
He said: “We are talking about aeroplane wings here – the most demanding application because of the safety aspect. You have to over-engineer. We would literally break it, allow it to heal, break it again. In some cases we were getting 100% recovery.”
It is as simple as adding the substance to the existing product and giving them the power to self heal!