Self-repairing screens under development
July 7, 2015
Recent reports suggest that a new self-repairing material is under development by researchers in the UK. According to the researchers, the material would be ready to be integrated into everything ‒ from smartphones to television screens and nail polishes ‒ in the next five years. Since we are in the smartphone business, this is truly exciting news for us. Broken screens and cracked touch panels are a major hardware issue for smartphone and tablet users. That is why we developed SmartIO-R, the Industry-1st content recovery & content transfer solution for devices with broken screens and touch panels. The solution allows any device that has been provisioned with SmartIO-R to recover data from it, even if the screen is unusable. That being said, the prospect of a material that could possibly mean the end of broken screens is a major scientific milestone. The self-repairing material was originally being worked upon for airplane wings. However, it goes without saying that the technology opens up a lot of opportunities in revolutionizing the wear-and-tear of products. The material has application in various industries since it has the potential to penetrate tiny cracks and mend itself (much like how blood can seep into wounds and cuts, and can harden itself to form a dry, protective scab on the affected area). The material has been made from a combination of different carbon-based chemicals, and produces a sheet of millions of microscopic spheres. In case the hollow microscopic spheres experience a crack that pulls them apart, a liquid is released… which then moves into the newly formed gap. Once the liquid is in place, a chemical reaction causes the polymerization (or hardening) of the liquid, causing it to act as an adhesive between the edges of the cracks, becoming a hard, almost invisible filler. The material, which was presented at the Royal Society meeting in London last month, has been developed by a team of researchers from the University of Bristol in England. The team is being led by chemist Duncan Wass. Not surprisingly, Wass has been open about the inspiration behind the material. “We took inspiration from the human body,” he has commented. The prospects of the technology look bright, as the team has reported achieving 100 percent recovery of strength in certain use cases.
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