This Self-Healing Glass Could Fix Your Phone Woes

This Self-Healing Glass Could Fix Your Phone Woes

That might sound like it could be an unbelievable breakthrough when it comes to cracked screens but questions still remain if it would be as responsive as other phone screens out there and if under screen fingerprint sensors would work through this material.

We might soon say goodbye to broken phone screens, thanks to a student who accidentally invented self-healing glass. According to a paper published by the Japanese researchers in the journal Science, the new form of glass is capable of repairing itself after being shattered.

The self-healing polymer, created by researchers at the University of Tokyo, was initially discovered by accident while they were studying new adhesives.

Self-healing materials aren't new. When pressed with slight pressure by hand at 21 degrees Celsius, the cut polymers formed a strong sheet.

Currently, the development of self-healing glasses could be deemed as a significant game changer in the smartphone industry. University of Tokyo graduate student Yu Yanagisawa was planning on making the substance into a glue, but discovered the polymer's unusual qualities after noticing the edges would bond again after being cut.

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Yanagisawa said repeated the test several times, not fully believing what he had stumbled upon.

The research provides that the fractured glass piece can be shaped back to the original form by compressing it up to 28 centigrade within an hour exposure of heat.

"High mechanical robustness and healing ability tend to be mutually exclusive", the researchers wrote in their paper. It returned to its original strength within a couple of hours.

As far-fetched as it may seem, scientists have been toying around with the idea of self-repairing smartphone screens for a few years now, but only a few devices, such as the curved LG G Flex 2, have taken these substances seriously. Yanagisawa hopes that polyether-thioureas will prove an environmentally friendly material as components made from it can be fixed rather than thrown away.

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