[ Read the Article: Engineers Develop Self-Healing Material Capable Of Fixing Larger Cracks And Holes ]
Professor Scott White discusses the research breakthrough that allows plastic to not only heal, but truly regenerate.
Self-healing materials have been around for about a decade. But they have never been able to heal damage much larger than the width of a human hair. But now, White and his colleagues Jeff Moore and Nancy Sottos have developed plastic that can regenerate damage as large as a bullet hole.
The plastic regenerates when two chemical channels in the material mix at a damaged area. This reaction forms a gel which fills in the hole and eventually hardens, similar to blood clotting in a wound.
White is a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a member of the Autonomous Materials Systems group at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.
Credit: Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology