The advent of smartphones brought with it a great chance of cracked screen as a result of the large surface area which the display now occupies. This is even more complicated by the adoption of the full-screen design which sees the bezels getting reduced. Somewhere in the world right now, someone has just dropped his or her phone accidentally and the screen has shattered. But this may soon be a thing of the past as a team of Korean researchers have developed a new self-healing material dubbed “Elastomer,” which can restore dents and cracks within 30 minutes.
Ordinarily, an elastomer is a polymer with viscoelasticity (having both viscosity and elasticity) and very weak inter-molecular forces, generally having low Young’s modulus and high failure strain compared with other materials. The new material comes with double the highest level of existing tensile strength which means it is resistant to breaking under tension. This has been a problem with self-healing materials in the past. The Elastomer is also able to heal itself under room temperature and has a tensile strength good enough to make it commercially viable. The team also disclosed that the new material can be used as a protective layer on mobile devices and it automatically restore any outside cracks within 30 minutes.