Plastic, Heal Thyself
These original Kirt's Cogitations™ may be reproduced (no more than
5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt Blattenberger.
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Cog·i·ta·tion [koj-i-tey'-shun] – noun: Concerted thought or
reflection; meditation; contemplation.
Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.
the way the human body heals itself, a new breed of plastics is on the
horizon that can not only heal micro-cracks, but prevent the propagation
of a crack in progress. Headed by a team at the U. of Illinois, the
self-healing plastics incorporate small capsules that release a healing
agent when a crack forms. The agent travels to the break through small
capillaries that simulate how blood flows to a wound. Polymerization
is triggered automatically when the healing agent makes contact with
a catalyst embedded in the plastic. The reaction forms a polymer to
repair the broken edges of the material. The rounded capsules act as
stress relief points to arrest crack propagation.