At a glance 1 min

Self healing paint: magics? No: plastics

Self healing paint: magics? No: plastics
Self healing paint: magics? No: plastics

As a teacher at the Beckman Institute of Illinois University, Scott White has studied materials and the way they fracture. Inspired by biology and nature, he considered how living things heal and, applying the “microencapsulation” and “microvascular materials systems” – horribly complex names for sophisticated techniques – he created a way to distribute healing substances throughout the material. The result will (soon) be a range of “self-healing” polymer-based coatings which will benefit all materials exposed to corrosive or saltwater environment:  ships, oil rigs and bridges should be the first happy customers And guess what? According to its creator, it is so “remarkably cost-effective” that “it's not a magic dust that costs an ungodly amount. The materials are widely available.” He knows: he created his own company (Autonomic Materials) to sell his discoveries!

More information
www.beckman.illinois.edu
www.autonomicmaterials.com

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