New Transparent Material Heals - Instead of Cracking - Under Pressure
Researchers in Japan have developed a new kind of semitransparent polymer that maintains both rigidity and healing properties, without requiring any external heating. As reported in Science, all that is needed is a little force. The healing process relies on hydrogen bonds, the electrostatic "glue" that keeps the polymer's atoms together. The hydrogen bonds form in a such a way that the polymer doesn't crystallize, giving the molecular chains the ability to move freely, and easily combine when pieces of the substance are compressed.