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Plastic can recover as body tissue- VIDEO PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 May 2014 13:00

Looking for a smooth plastic sheet lying in one of the laboratories of the University of Illinois (University of Illinois), it is impossible to guess that recently gaping hole in it . The researchers were able to develop a material with an incredible ability to regenerate. Previously, self-healing materials could fight only with microscopic cracks and holes. But U.S. scientists created on plastic heals itself impressive " injured " . " We have shown that non-living system of synthetic materials can regenerate like some living biological systems ," - says one of the authors of the study chemistry professor Jeffrey Moore (Jeffry S. Moore). Creating a self-healing plastic was made possible by the previous development team - a special vascular material. Formed using fibers , the researchers created a material with a network of capillaries . Scientists drew inspiration from watching biological circulatory system. Two neighboring capillary, running parallel to each other, filled with special chemicals that flow in case of damage " vessels ." The two liquids are mixed and form a gel which covers the gap caused by injury , filling the cracks and holes . This is similar to how our circulatory system platelets and protein fibrin blood clot . Then, the gel hardens , becoming a sturdy polymer , reducing the mechanical strength of plastic. " Vascular service allows sum to place a large amount of deformation therapeutic agents and cover significant areas of damage - says professor of materials science and engineering Sottos Nancy (Nancy Sottos). - Moreover, this approach provides several cycles of restoration if the damage was repeated " . During the experiment, the gel filled the gap width exceeding 35 millimeters in 20 minutes , and the mechanical function of the material recovered by more than half to three hours . " In order to successfully carry out the regeneration , we had to overcome a number of external factors , including gravity , - says the head of a research professor of aerospace engineering at Scott White (Scott White). - Reactive liquid that we use to gel quickly enough , so that he begins to harden immediately. If this will not happen , just pour out the liquid beyond the damaged area. Education gel retains reactants in the liquid state , and since the material is still solid enough , the recovery process can be continued by bringing more fluid into the hole . " The team demonstrated its regeneration system on two famous types of plastics : thermoplastics . Researchers also have learned to "tune " the chemical reactions to control the rate of formation and the rate of solidification of the gel ( depending on the type of damage .) For example, when hit by a bullet material except for the central hole formed yet and the series of radial cracks . Therefore, the reaction of the gel can be slowed to a chemical has penetrated into all the cracks until it solidifies . Scientists believe that this technology is self-healing plastic, similar to the biological healing, can be introduced into production in the very near future. A simple and effective method of making vascular materials already exist, now need to optimize the composition of regenerating chemicals for different types of materials. This ability can be very useful for commercial goods ( for example, a scratched bumper car could recover himself for a few minutes after the accident ) . But more importantly the invention to those parts and products which are difficult to repair or replace, for example, those used in the aerospace industry or in the bottom of deep wells. Since the present work was partially funded by the U.S. Air Force , it is possible that the American army sooner or later will have at its disposal , such as self-healing shields for military, VIDEO:

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