Self-Repair Technology Will Dominate Coming Years, Says Research

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What is the one thing that every iPhone or precious electronic gadget owner is afraid of? It is the fear of an unfortunate moment when their phone or devices slips out of their hands or falls from its stand on the floor. It is very much a heart-in-the-mouth kind of situation that can lead to heavy expenses or permanent demise of your device. Even if the damage is minor you might need to spend a good amount of screen repair or touch work or any other related problems.

The pioneer of mobile phone technology, Motorola, recently tried to fix this problem with the help of Moto X Force. The device comes with a shatter-proof screen, however, the strength of this screen too depends on the momentum of its fall. If the momentum is more than its ability to overcome shock it will break into pieces. And the biggest disadvantage, it is incapable of repairing itself back. The silver lining to this situation is the most awaited self-repairing technology. As per a recent research, the field of science is rapidly moving towards one such era that will be owned by self-repairing technologies.

The small version of this technique can already be viewed in LG G Flex that claims of a self-repairing feature apart from a curved screen. The technique used here is completely different from the one that we were talking about in the previous paragraph, however, the objective is pretty much same. In order to achieve this target, researchers have focused their attention on polymers – substance used for making plastic. Plastics are used for making almost everything around us right from smartphones to footballs and other things.

The most successful and viable effort in this direction, till date, has been micro-capsules with adhesive substances in their base material. Whenever any kind of cracks appear on the surface he capsules will break open and effuse the adhesive substance or will fill up the gap or glue it and will solidify then and there. The adhesive substance will be made up of monomers. When the capsule breaks up, the adhesive monomers are exposed to other polymers which then react with it and fill up the cracker region. For this standard reaction it will need a chemical catalyst that will allow the reaction at room temperature without any kind of interventions.

The biggest issue in this respect is that the self-repair will take place only once and when next time the device has any damage, there will be no other solution then to go for replacement or repair. Also, the depth of cracks will be a restricting factor which means deeper cracks will either be repaired half way or will be completely irreparable. This kind of self-repair technology is already in use in case of airplane wings that can repair themselves in the air. It was in year 2015 that a team of researchers and their Professor, Mr. Duncan Wass, from University of Bristol (Britain) employed a micro-capsule embedding technology for air wings reformation in mid-air. It was established that the repaired new wing was as robust as the original one.

At present, the researchers are mainly focusing on using carbon-fiber in this technique that will open gates to several new opportunities and will extend the application area from wind mills to automobiles.