"In the presence of ordinary sunlight ... the bridges reform..."
How long before the word "reform" is replaced by "replicate"...?
Self-repairing plastic that can heal cuts and scratches on its own surface has been presented at a meeting of the American Chemistry Society. Inspired by human skin, the new material could make for self-healing cars and smartphones, that change colour when damaged and can close over "wounds" of its own accord. Professor Marek …
"The ACS suggest it could have a use in battlefield weapons systems"
Oh hurrah , finally battlefield weapons systems is getting some R&D , a much maligned field in which there have been no advances for decades.
At last someone has had the sense to have a think about how we van all kill each other more effectively
the fact that the research was in part paid for by the department of d̶e̶f̶e̶n̶s̶e War, then I think to continue getting money from them they would have to say it could have a use in battlefield weapons systems...
But think for a minute....
Battlefields are all about blowing stuff up and destroying stuff, the plastic is about fixing stuff. Other military hardware, they would have to leave out in the sun for it to be fixed. I am not sure how quick it fixes itself, but I bet a £ to a penny that its not ever going to be quick enough for battlefield use. They are not going to discard something in the arena that will fix itself for the enemy to come along and pick up.
best use for the battlefield will be to let a soldier know something was damaged and not safe to use....
the best use I can think of is for the external shell of aeroplanes....
"I bet a £ to a penny that its not ever going to be quick enough for battlefield use. They are not going to discard something in the arena that will fix itself for the enemy to come along and pick up."
OTOH, not everything gets abandoned on the battlefield; some equipment DOES get taken back to a repair depot. I suspect that in the future the equation will be roughly the same as it is now "How expensive/critical/replaceable/repairable is this unit? Is it too damaged to be worthwhile sending back? If some parts are self-repairing, that could change the equation.
As the title says the first read of your post, robo-juggernaughts appeared in my head as robo-jugs, of course I then started thinking about self healing boobs, what then happened was a concerted effort on my part to stop that line of thinking and get back to work.
This highlights the issue of not drinking my morning quota of coffee before embarking on a reading spree through El Reg.
With previous reports of this kind of thing I'd always wondered how the initial shape was "specified". i.e. you might have areas of stress or shapes with sharp edges and corners and you don't want them to "heal" back to something flat or round. I have visions that over time anything made from this stuff starts looking a bit, well, blobby... (but then I'm not a chemist)
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