Smart, self-healing plastic invented | COSMOS magazine

A new kind of plastic that can repair itself when exposed to ordinary light has been unveiled by scientists in the U.S. for the first time.

The miracle material could extend the lifetime and improve the durability of dozens of polymer-based products, ranging from common household items such a bags and storage bins to inner tyres and expensive medical equipment, the study published in the current issue of Nature said.

“What we have developed is essentially a new plastic material composed of very small chains that stick together and assemble into much larger chains,” said co-author Stuart Rowan from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

“But what we have designed into the molecule is the ability to disassemble on exposure to light. When it disassembles the material flows into the crag and the system gets healed.”

via Smart, self-healing plastic invented | COSMOS magazine.

This is really sweet. It’s a damn shame it’ll at best get only minor placement in our products… Can you imagine how bad this would be for the economy? (Hint: Almost as bad as our economic model is for life forms on this planet.)


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