Dutch scientists have come up with a self mending plastic, dubbed ‘Supra B’ that heals itself when broken, without the help of glue. With the development of this new material, children’s broken toys could be easily put back together even after the most destructive play session, they say.
The material- supramolecular polymer, which is being developed by chemical company AkzoNobel in conjunction with scientists at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, can repair itself simply by holding the two pieces together.
"We are working on polymers that are able to heal themselves," the Telegraph quoted Graham Armstrong, corporate director of research, development and innovation at AkzoNobel, as saying.
"They use supramolecular chemistry, which exploits some of the lessons we have learned from the way proteins bind together in biology. It means we can have solids that genuinely can heal."
The scientists have also claimed that the new plastic could be used in car chassis to evade the need for costly repair work after an accident.
The material takes advantage of hydrogen bonding that gives water its viscosity and surface tension.
In Supra B, the scientists have quadrupled the number of hydrogen bonds between the small plastic, or polymer, molecules to make it as strong as other forms of plastic, but does not entail a chemical reaction to join them together.