Scientists develop self healing polymer glass

Scientists develop self healing polymer glass

Scientists develop self healing polymer glass

A tough, clear plastic that can be fixed with a squeeze of the hand when it cracks has been accidentally discovered by scientists in Japan. They acknowledge that hard healable materials had been created before, but "in most cases, heating to high temperatures, on the order of 120°C or more, to reorganize their cross-linked networks, is necessary for the fractured portions to fix".

End of the smashed phone screen?

The self-healing polymer, created by researchers at the University of Tokyo, was initially discovered by accident while they were studying new adhesives.

The groundbreaking new material could lead to virtually unbreakable phone screens.

Currently, the development of self-healing glasses could be deemed as a significant game changer in the smartphone industry. According to a paper published by the Japanese researchers in the journal Science, the new form of glass is capable of repairing itself after being shattered.

As per a report in The Guardian, a team from the University of Tokyo headed by Professor Takuzo Aida succeeded in developing the self- mending glass which is called "polyether-thioureas".


"I hope the repairable glass becomes a new environment-friendly material that avoids the need to be thrown away if broken", he told NHK.

This is not the first time a polymer has been suggested as a healable screen for devices such as smartphones. "In most cases, heating to high temperatures, on the order of 120 degrees Celsius or more, to reorganize their cross-linked networks is necessary for the fractured portions to fix".

Self-healing polymers aren't new, but unlike most similar types of glass, this one can fix itself at room temperature.

'High mechanical robustness and healing ability tend to be mutually exclusive, ' wrote the researchers.

Two broken shards can fuse back together in just a few seconds with firm pressure, and the glass regains its original strength in a couple of hours.

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