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Friday, May 16, 2014

Self-healing polymers found

There are 3 centimeters wide hole in the plastic sheet in the laboratory University of Illinois. A group of scientists then made material containing a fiber designed specifically as capillary vessels network then close the holes. Plastic sheet back smooth as before. There is no crack, much less a hole, the incident is not magic. The scientists managed to make material that can healing itself as human skin.

Previously, the ability of a material that can repair itself only improve the damage in a microscopic scale. The findings of the scientists from University of Illinois and be a major breakthrough and has published in the Science journal on May 9, 2014.

"We are able to show an improvement in the synthetic material system with the concept of improvement with growth like on the living creatures," says Jeffry S. Moore, a professor of chemistry from the University of Illinois.

Nancy Sottos, a professor of materials science and engineering, said the vascular system capable of transporting a large number of recovery agents. This causes the great damage area could immediately restored. "The system also allows for repair of vascular repeated if the material damage suffered more than once," said Sottos.

These findings are beneficial for the industrial world. Cracks in water pipes or car body, for example, can directly recover and smooth as before. Satellite can also repaired itself or chips in laptops and mobile phones that are able to overcome their own problems. Later on, the material can also be used to make the goods that hard to repaired or replaced as the spaceship material.

Growth and improvement material that occurs when the parallel capillary vessels directly filled with regenerative chemicals when the damage occurred. Two mixed fluid forms like a gel that fills the damage cracks and holes. The healer fluid immediately fill the damaged area as wide as 35 millimeters in just 20 minutes. Three hours later, the gel was then hardens to form a strong polymer and restore the plastic mechanical strength.

Scott White, a professor of aerospace engineering and research leaders say that they are trying to overcome a number of external factors, including the gravity that prevents regeneration. Reactive fluid that they use very quickly forms a gel. Fluid also hardens instantly as issued. "If it is not set, the liquid will flow directly out of the damaged area until such bleeding occurs. Gels formed immediately supporting and holding the fluid," he said further.

Due to the structure of the material was not formed, then researchers can continue the process of growth by pumping more fluid into the damage hole. The improvement system is done on two types of commercial plastic largest available today, i.e thermoplastic and thermoset.
The concept of refinement is very similar to the biological recovery process. Researchers are now trying on material with a different type. This is the first time researchers prove materially damaged in the polymer structure can be returned. "Before, if you cut off a material, then the matenal can not be returned as it was. Nowadays material can be regenerated," said White. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | GABRIEL WAHYU TITIYOGA | TEMPO | NATURE | SCIENCE | BBC]
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