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Jokes/Interweb Things Thread, Self Healing Plastic. Can regrow a hole or chip! in Fun Stuff; This stuff looks awesome, imagine this in a smart phone, if you drop it and crack the screen no biggie ...
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    abillybob's Avatar
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    Self Healing Plastic. Can regrow a hole or chip!

    This stuff looks awesome, imagine this in a smart phone, if you drop it and crack the screen no biggie give it a little while and the phone will have completely fixed itself and regenerated new plastic.


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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    More here: Regenerating plastic grows back after damage | News Bureau | University of Illinois

    Maybe I'm missing something, but this doesn't seem all that spectacular or useful to me... essentially, they'd need to build a network of "veins" through the plastic (sorry @abillybob but that means no screens!) that have to have a source of liquid polymer being pumped through them constantly, then when damage occurs the polymer seeps in to the crack/hole, hardens and the material is "fixed". However, this means that if that spot was damaged again, there'd be no "veins" to deliver the polymer. You'd need some sort of pump to deliver the polymer, which adds cost and complexity. Presumably you'd need to top up the polymer if it ran low...

    Surely it's easier, faster and cheaper to fill the hole yourself?

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    abillybob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    More here: Regenerating plastic grows back after damage | News Bureau | University of Illinois

    Maybe I'm missing something, but this doesn't seem all that spectacular or useful to me... essentially, they'd need to build a network of "veins" through the plastic (sorry @abillybob but that means no screens!) that have to have a source of liquid polymer being pumped through them constantly, then when damage occurs the polymer seeps in to the crack/hole, hardens and the material is "fixed". However, this means that if that spot was damaged again, there'd be no "veins" to deliver the polymer. You'd need some sort of pump to deliver the polymer, which adds cost and complexity. Presumably you'd need to top up the polymer if it ran low...

    Surely it's easier, faster and cheaper to fill the hole yourself?
    Why do you ruin my dreams!

    I suppose the fact that they have got this close it can only get better surely, the veins and liquid would be transparent so the user couldn't notice them and a small pump could be made to fit into the phone itself... Maybe you have a small hole to fill up the liquid and a button to press to activate the pumps which would push the stuff through the veins when you have damaged your phone? Just a thought, technology can only get smaller, better and cheaper so at the moments it maybe a stupid thing to do and you could just repair it yourself cheaply but think of the future...

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abillybob View Post
    Why do you ruin my dreams!

    I suppose the fact that they have got this close it can only get better surely, the veins and liquid would be transparent so the user couldn't notice them and a small pump could be made to fit into the phone itself... Maybe you have a small hole to fill up the liquid and a button to press to activate the pumps which would push the stuff through the veins when you have damaged your phone? Just a thought, technology can only get smaller, better and cheaper so at the moments it maybe a stupid thing to do and you could just repair it yourself cheaply but think of the future...
    Haha I don't mean to, perhaps I've just gotten excited over too many disappointing "breakthroughs" in technology over the years

    Touch screens also have a network of tiny wires running though them (well, the digitizer does technically not the screen itself, though this is the thing most likely to be damaged) so even if they did put this new polymer in to them, the touch screen would still be broken I'm afraid.

    I can imagine there might be some uses for this in industry, though I'm struggling to think of any right now... also think the car bumper example given in the article above is unrealistic; reading about how this works, I can't see any way it could "remember" the original shape to truly rebuild. What they've "invented" is automatic polyfiller!

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