Researchers develop a self-healing material that can stitch back

By : |November 3, 2016 0

We all know about self-healing Wolverine, but what if your pair of jeans does the same? A team of engineers at the University of California San Diego have created a printable, self-healing material that repeatedly fixes itself after being snipped in half.

“We wanted to develop a smart system with impressive self-healing abilities with easy-to-find, inexpensive materials,” explained Amay Bandodkar, one of the researchers. Printable ink was impregnated with microparticles of neodymium, a commonly used metal with strong magnetic properties, and carbon black, which is highly conductive.

A clever fabrication process ensures that printed strips of the ink act as permanent magnets, and cutting them only separates them into two smaller permanent magnets with similar orientations. The result is that when two pieces are separated, the north pole of one remains by the south pole of the other, attracting each other. If they aren’t far apart, or are brought near each other, the two pieces of printed material will join up.

“The generic self-healing ink formulation technique discussed in this work can be easily applied for developing inks containing other fillers for printing self-healing devices that cater to a wide range of applications and printed electronic devices,” reads the paper.

The researchers are currently looking into how to create a battery that self-heal, as well.

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