A new plastic material that was demonstrated to the American Chemical Society yesterday is allegedly the first material of its kind as it has a self-healing mechanism which works with the sun and also has the capability to indicate damage that looks like bleeding through real skin. Professor Marek W.Urban from the University of Southern Mississippi said of the invention, “Our new plastic tries to mimic nature, issuing a red signal when damaged and then renewing itself when exposed to visible light, temperature or pH changes.”
Prof Urban’s plastic is made up of molecular bridges that run along the polymer chains that make up the plastic material. When the plastic is damaged the bridges “break” but when the “broken” area is exposed to light or any of the other healing factors mentioned before, the bridges will be rebuilt. To further solidify the mimicry of the plastic to human skin, Prof Urban rigged the bridges to change color when broken and the color he chose was red.
Reportedly as the material heals itself, the red color fades away. The potential for a material such as this is boundless as we can see it on devices such as smartphones or tablets which will turn red if dropped to indicate that a repair is needed or even for more serious matters as Prof Urban foresees such as car fenders, aircraft components and even battlefield weapons systems seeing he was funded by U.S Department of Defence for the research project anyway.Related articles: