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Self-Healing Polymer Could Make Smartphone Screen Repair a Thing of the Past

Dealing with cracked screen smartphones is one tough ordeal. Screen protectors seem to be the only temporary solution mostly effective until the need to get the screen replaced—which in itself is pricey.

Researchers in Tokyo have exposed a new polymer that has got the ability to heal itself, that might possibly open a future to self-healing phone screens.

Professor Takuzo Aida from the Tokyo University along with his team of researchers has published the study in Science. The study was published with the title of “Mechanically robust, readily repairable polymers via tailored noncovalent cross-linking”. The polymer discovered by the researchers is “polyether-thioureas”—a different kind of glass-like polymer with the ability to heal itself with only the hand pressure. This makes it unique from the other materials that require high heat to heal up from a break or crack.

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Researchers said that the high mechanical strength and healing abilities tend to be mutually exclusive.  They added that in most of the cases heating to high temperatures 120 degree Celsius or above is needed to rearrange the cross-linked networks for repairing the fractured portions.

As per the reports of The Guardian, the special type of glass polymer was accidentally discovered by a graduate student—Yu Yanagisawa, who supposed the material would transform into some type of glue. He noticed that cut edges of the polymer remains together and makes a string sheet after they are pressed by hand at the temperature of 21 degree Celsius.

This is not the first time that any such self-repairing phone technology has been proposed, there were earlier studies on self-repairing screen protectors and a Motorola patent about a self-healing screen.

However, such studies and discoveries would assist in making the broken screens and their expensive repairs a thing of the past.

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Jimmy Arthur

I am a writer/editor at Research Snipers RS-NEWS and it’s been 3 years working with the company. My specialties are technology and business.