Engineers from the University of Illinois have developed a new plastic regenerates capable of releasing the material for filling cracks and holes. Inspiration scientists found in human blood, or rather in its ability to clot blood clots. According to the report BBC News, previous achievements in the field of self-healing materials could boast the ability zaraschivat only microscopic cracks. However, the new plastic polymer capable of automatically heal hole width of 3 cm - 100 times more than before.
"For decades, scientists have dreamed of plastic that heals like human skin," - the article says BBC News. - "The cracks in water pipes and car hood sealed. Satellites can themselves restore their own damage. Broken chips in laptops and mobile phones themselves are able to sort out their problems. " Now lead researcher Scott White and his colleagues began a step closer to the implementation of these fantasies. Article about their study appeared in the journal Science on May 9.
White issued a statement that his team is able to successfully demonstrate "repair inanimate synthetic material that resembles the recovery of some living systems».
Material can regenerate through a reaction that occurs when two liquids are mixed. One of the liquids comprises a long and thin molecules, and another - of the molecule in the form of a pyramid. When these two fluids are mixed, molecules create the likeness of a thrombus. Liquid turns into a thick gel that fills the damaged areas after a few minutes, and then the specific substance in the fluid makes the gel to cure within a few hours.
To demonstrate the capabilities of the material scientists have punched a hole in the plastic with a diameter of 4 mm with a total length of cracks around 35 mm. Liquid fill holes and cracks in 20 minutes. After three hours, the patch material formed, which was approximately 40% less strong than the starting material. The research team was able to create plastic, penetrated the network of microscopic channels with liquids. Against material fluid flows are mixed and polymerized to heal the damaged area.