I was on Yahoo! the other day and I was going through those thumbnails at the top, you know, the ones with the important news? I came across this one post that I clicked on, and it talked about a polymer that can, get this, HEAL ITSELF! So I just had to find out more!
Created in Spain, this polymer can be sliced in half, left on a table for two hours at room temperature, and reheal itself up to 97%! There is still scarring, but, no matter how hard you try, it will not rip at that spot.
According to one article, “Self-healing polymers mend themselves by reforming broken cross-linking bonds. However, the cross-linking healing mechanism usually requires an external stimulus.” Most of the time, the triggers are energy inputs like heat or pH. “Self-healing polymers that can spontaneously achieve quantitative healing in the absence of a catalyst have never been reported before, until now.” Other attempts have been made before, like Ibon Odriozola of Spain. However, it was not appealing enough to market to the public. During the video above, the Terminator is cut in half and then left in two pieces atop each other for 2 hours in room temperature. The material? An industrially familiar, permanently cross-linked poly(urea–urethane) elastomeric network.
Many chemists believe this elastomer can be used to “… improve the security and duration of many plastic parts, for example in cars, houses, electrical components and biomaterials.”
I believe this is just the start to developing long lasting items. With this technology, we can develop more realistic things found in nature. Developing new products such as for use in the human body would be amazing. If we were to refine this, fake skin could be modeled out of it! And from there! Oh, the places we’ll go!
So ta ta for now and I hope to see your chemical reaction soon!