Published: Wed, December 20, 2017
Industry | By Johnnie Johnson

New polymer could fix phone screens by just applying pressure

New polymer could fix phone screens by just applying pressure

As with numerous best discoveries, the polymer was discovered by accident, The Guardian reports.

As well as signalling potentially cheaper repairs for consumers, it is also a more sustainable material as it won't have to be replaced as often. Luckily, we are making advancements in phone screen technology to prevent the breaking from occurring in the first place as well as now a much more possible solution, self-regenerative phone screens.

Academics in Japan claim to have developed a form of self-healing glass - a discovery they stumbled upon nearly completely by accident. University of Tokyo graduate student Yu Yanagisawa was planning on making the substance into a glue, but discovered the polymer's unusual qualities after noticing the edges would bond again after being cut.

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"High mechanical robustness and healing ability tend to be mutually exclusive", the researchers in a report published in Science magazine and ResearchGate.

To date, scientists have already come up with rubber, plastic, and concrete self-healing materials. When pressed with slight pressure by hand at 21 degrees Celsius, the cut polymers formed a strong sheet.

"I hope the repairable glass becomes a new environment-friendly material that avoids the need to be thrown away if broken", Yu told NHK, adding that he repeated the experiment several times to confirm his findings.

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Aida believes the healable glass could be used in phone screens and other fragile devices. What sets this newly discovered material apart from other similar materials with self-healing properties is that the new material is structurally robust like standard glass.

The research provides that the fractured glass piece can be shaped back to the original form by compressing it up to 28 centigrade within an hour exposure of heat. After leaving the cracked joint for a longer period, say a couple of hours, it is claimed that the healed material will have regained its original strength.

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