The Las Vegas Guardian Express has a special feature on its website regarding a revolutionary polymer synthesized by the CIDETEC Center for Electrochemical Technologies in Spain. This new type has the ability to “heal” itself when damaged. More about this innovation can be read in the following passage:
Synthetic polymers impersonate natural polymers with one big exception. Synthetic polymers do not have the inherent ability of self-healing—that is until now.
In the September issue, Materials Horizon reports that scientists have created a polymer that after being sliced and separated, the molecule can self-repair it form back to its previous, undamaged condition. What is unique to this synthetic polymer, is that the entire repair is done without use of a catalyst. Again for chemistry 101 haters, a catalyst is a substance that works to speed up a chemical reaction.
For its toughness, the synthetic self-healing polymer has been nicknamed the Terminator after the Terminator 2 T100 (sic) robot.
Polymers can be used in a variety of applications, such as sealing connections. While the self-healing compound has yet to be produced for everyday use, regular polymers are durable enough to be used for normal home purposes such as leak plugging. Sturdy polymer seals, such as those produced by Advanced EMC Technologies, can secure links and keep them pressurized.
Numerous machines, especially those with piping, hoses, wires, and cables could use a sealant to secure their components. This guarantees a firm grip among connecting elements and manages to preserve internal pressure. This way, liquids and air passing through them can’t leak out and compromise the system.
Seals come in all shapes and sizes to fit a wide range of equipment. Ergonomic v-packing seals, for instance, are designed to “hug” the lip of a machine it’s placed on for a firmer hold. If your appliances or industrial tools tend to leak, you should only trust well known brands in the field. While the self-healing polymer is still in its testing stages, there’s no need to wait when there’s a whole line of durable sealants available in the market; just make sure that you consult an expert to find out which type you should use.
(Self-Healing Polymers Will Soon Be Invading Your Household, Las Vegas Guardian Express, September 19. 2013)