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Robotics Hardware

Researchers Develop Self-Healing Plastic 71

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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  • Re:All we need now (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 10, 2010 @04:31PM (#34517706)

    Hell, we *are* "self replicating machines built with self healing material".

  • by RsG ( 809189 ) on Friday December 10, 2010 @05:52PM (#34518560)

    Also, a fair bit of the issue is cost per mile.

    We could build, right now, with modern technology, roads that could go decades or longer between repaving or other maintenance. No self-healing wonderplastic required; modern engineering and existing materials are up to the task. Wouldn't last forever, but if you only need to make repairs every eighty odd years, that's more than good enough. It might even been economical in the very, very long run.

    The reason we don't do this is money. Simple asphalt and gravel, with sporadic repairs and repaving every decade or so is "good enough". Long term savings that would take most of a human lifespan to pay off aren't attractive to anybody in a position to implement them, for obvious reasons.

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford