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Robotics Hardware

Researchers Develop Self-Healing Plastic 71

Posted by kdawson
from the you're-terminated dept.
schliz writes "Arizona State researchers have been working on a 'self-healing' polymer that uses a fibre optic 'nervous system' to detect and fix cracks. The system recovers up to 96 percent of an object's original strength in laboratory tests. It could find use in 'large-scale composite structures for which human intervention would be difficult,' such as wind turbines, satellites, aircraft, or the Mars Rover."
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Researchers Develop Self-Healing Plastic

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  • by daemonhunter (968210) on Friday December 10, 2010 @03:30PM (#34517684)
    I'm sure someone's already working on a patent for this, but what would stop us from replacing sections of road with textured, self-healing plastic?
    We still have too little information on the plastic at hand, but it could hopefully reduce Transit Dept. maintenance costs worldwide.
  • What about cars? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ganjadude (952775) on Friday December 10, 2010 @03:34PM (#34517742) Homepage
    How many times do you drive down the road and see a cars rear or front bumper with a dent/crack, yet the rest of the car is perfectly fine?
    the reason most dont fix the bumper is believe it or not a bumper cover can cost 200-500 bucks, and another 200-500 bucks to paint, and if you dont know what your doing, another 200 bucks to put back on!. I see it all the time on the roads by me, and in the cities, forget it every other car.
  • by hedwards (940851) on Friday December 10, 2010 @03:49PM (#34517934)
    Probably not, at least not on the surface. The problem is that a significant portion of the wear and tear is from the surface rubbing off. It might help some, but doubtful that it would be enough to make it worthwhile.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 10, 2010 @07:13PM (#34519882)

    I am an American living in Europe and many of the roads in this country are made of cobblestones. They don't wear down easily and it's easy to replace very specific areas of the road instead of tearing it all up.

    Sometimes old tech is better than new tech.

We will have solar energy as soon as the utility companies solve one technical problem -- how to run a sunbeam through a meter.

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