Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Terminator' polymer: Self-healing polymer that spontaneously and independently repairs itself

Date:
September 13, 2013
Source:
Royal Society of Chemistry
Summary:
Scientists have reported the first self-healing polymer that spontaneously and independently repairs itself without any intervention. The researchers have dubbed the material a "Terminator" polymer in tribute to the shape-shifting, molten T-100 terminator robot from the Terminator 2 film.

The elastomer mends itself after being cut in two by a razor blade and can be manually stretched without rupture.
Credit: Image courtesy of Royal Society of Chemistry

Scientists report the first self-healing thermoset elastomer that requires no intervention to induce its repair.

Self-healing polymers mend themselves by reforming broken cross-linking bonds. However, the cross-linking healing mechanism usually requires an external stimulus.

Triggers to promote bond repair include energy inputs, such as heat or light, or specific environmental conditions, such as pH. Self-healing polymers that can spontaneously achieve quantitative healing in the absence of a catalyst have never been reported before, until now.

Ibon Odriozola previously came close when his group at the CIDETEC Centre for Electrochemical Technologies in Spain developed self-healing silicone elastomers using silver nanoparticles as cross-linkers. Unfortunately, an applied external pressure was required and the expensive sliver component disfavoured commercialisation. But now they have achieved their goal to prepare self-healing elastomers from common polymeric starting materials using a simple and inexpensive approach.

An industrially familiar, permanently cross-linked poly(urea-urethane) elastomeric network was demonstrated to completely mend itself after being cut in two by a razor blade. It is the metathesis reaction of aromatic disulphides, which naturally exchange at room temperature, that causes regeneration.

Ibon stresses the use of commercially available materials is important for industrial applications. He says the polymer behaves as if it was alive, always healing itself and has dubbed it a "terminator" polymer -- a tribute to the shape-shifting, molten T-1000 terminator robot from the Terminator 2 film. It acts as a velcro-like sealant or adhesive, displaying an impressive 97% healing efficiency in just two hours and does not break when stretched manually.

David Mecerreyes, a polymer chemistry specialist at the University of the Basque Country in Spain, sees opportunities to use this elastomer to improve the security and duration of many plastic parts, for example in cars, houses, electrical components and biomaterials.

'The introduction of a room temperature exchangeable covalent bond in classic thermoset elastomers provides unique autonomous self-healing abilities without comprising the pristine material properties,' says Richard Hoogenboom, head of the Supramolecular Chemistry group at Ghent University in Belgium. 'Close resemblance of this novel self-healing thermoset elastomer with current commercial materials makes it highly interesting for extending the lifetime of such materials.'

Future work by the group will concentrate on stronger polymeric materials as the current poly(urea-urethane) composite is relatively soft.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Royal Society of Chemistry. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Alaitz Rekondo, Roberto Martin, Alaitz Ruiz de Luzuriaga, Germán Cabañero, Hans J. Grande and Ibon Odriozola. Catalyst-free room-temperature self-healing elastomers based on aromatic disulfide metathesis. Mater. Horiz., 2014 (in press) DOI: 10.1039/C3MH00061C
  2. Roberto Martín, Alaitz Rekondo, Jon Echeberria, Germán Cabañero, Hans J. Grande, Ibon Odriozola. Room temperature self-healing power of silicone elastomers having silver nanoparticles as crosslinkers. Chemical Communications, 2012; 48 (66): 8255 DOI: 10.1039/c2cc32030d

Cite This Page:

Royal Society of Chemistry. "'Terminator' polymer: Self-healing polymer that spontaneously and independently repairs itself." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130913101819.htm>.
Royal Society of Chemistry. (2013, September 13). 'Terminator' polymer: Self-healing polymer that spontaneously and independently repairs itself. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130913101819.htm
Royal Society of Chemistry. "'Terminator' polymer: Self-healing polymer that spontaneously and independently repairs itself." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130913101819.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) — Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) — British scientists have developed a prototype graphene paint that can make coatings which are resistant to liquids, gases, and chemicals. The team says the paint could have a variety of uses, from stopping ships rusting to keeping food fresher for longer. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
China Airlines Swanky New Plane

China Airlines Swanky New Plane

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) — China Airlines debuted their new Boeing 777, and it's more like a swanky hotel bar than an airplane. Enjoy high-tea, a coffee bar, and a full service bar with cocktails and spirits, and lie-flat in your reclining seats. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins