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The Fluid Systems Engineering and Management Blog

by Swagelok Northern California

Self-Healing Polymer is Switched On with Light

by Jeff Hopkins, on 8/16/18 9:00 AM

New material can be cut apart and then heal itself when warmed

A team at MIT is developing a polymer of the future that could be applied to cars, satellites, and other machinery to allow them to “heal” themselves after damage. The researchers attached the polymer (polyethylene glycol in this case, although any polymer would work) to a light-sensitive molecule called DTE that can be used to alter the bonds formed within the material.

When a green light is shined on the resulting material, it rearranges its topology and becomes softer and more dynamic. In this state the material can be cut apart and will heal itself when warmed. The team is working to improve the process so that the material can withstand more reversals between its rigid and fluid states before disintegrating.

Read the full article in MIT News →

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