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Skin-inspired coating that's as hard as teeth and can heal itself

Date:
January 31, 2018
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Self-healing smart coatings could someday make scratches on cell phones a thing of the past. But researchers often have to compromise between strength and the ability to self-repair when developing these materials. Now, one group reports the development of a smart coating that is as hard as tooth enamel on the outside but can heal itself like skin can.
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Self-healing smart coatings could someday make scratches on cell phones a thing of the past. But researchers often have to compromise between strength and the ability to self-repair when developing these materials. Now, one group reports in ACS Nano the development of a smart coating that is as hard as tooth enamel on the outside but can heal itself like skin can.

The smart coating market is a booming industry and is only expected to grow in upcoming years. The most common smart coatings that can heal themselves are based on soft polymers that can wear out quickly. But hard coatings can be too rigid to come back together to fix a tear or scratch. In previous research, Ming Yang and colleagues produced a stiffer, more healable coating, but its performance still needs to be optimized. In the current paper, the researchers developed a different way to make a soft, yet hard, self-healing material.

Mimicking the structure of human skin, the researchers used a layer-by-layer technique to form a soft, dynamic under layer containing polyvinyl alcohol and tannic acid. The hard outer layer contained these compounds plus a layer of graphene oxide. When fabricated at a certain thickness, the material successfully healed itself when cut, and it also could kill bacteria. The material could someday serve as an electronic skin or even as a scratch-proof coating on buildings or phones.


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Materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Xiaodong Qi, Dan Zhang, Zhongbao Ma, Wenxin Cao, Ying Hou, Jiaqi Zhu, Yang Gan, Ming Yang. An Epidermis-like Hierarchical Smart Coating with a Hardness of Tooth Enamel. ACS Nano, 2018; DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.7b05478

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Skin-inspired coating that's as hard as teeth and can heal itself." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 January 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180131095609.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2018, January 31). Skin-inspired coating that's as hard as teeth and can heal itself. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180131095609.htm
American Chemical Society. "Skin-inspired coating that's as hard as teeth and can heal itself." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180131095609.htm (accessed July 24, 2024).

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