A new innovation by a team of researchers from Clemson University, South Carolina might drastically lessen the cost of formulating paints, coatings, and plastics meant for screens of cell phones. Those also include other materials that can automatically heal themselves. The group of scientists led by Marek Urban published their findings in a journal. In it they described vividly as to how they could impart self-healing polymers finding application in affordable commodities such as plastics and coatings and paints. In the next step, they are planning to test production of larger quantities from the current small amounts in labs.
Currently, it is not available on an industrial scale. However, it would soon be a possible to manufacture it on an industrial scale. This was explained by Urban. Researchers for the past twenty years have been formulating self-healing polymers in small batches. But manufacturing them on a commercial scale has been expensive.
To overcome the hurdle, the new group of researchers took advantage of the interactions between co-polymers. He likened those to strands of spaghetti having brushes on each side. The longer the strands of spaghetti, the more they tend to get entangled. The sides interlock with one another making it difficult to extricate them. Once you pull them apart, they go back to one another.
Though this may sound simple, it is such interactions that are serving to bring about self-healing. The discovery would enable development of sustainable materials leveraging weak bonds that become strong collectively.