Plastic that Bleeds: Another Implementation of Biomimetic Design
Biomimicry or Biomimetics imitates elements of nature to solve human problems. And why not! Nature has been successful at finding solutions for numerous enigmas. Imitating nature has led to many inventions in technology and has even inspired bionics. One of the latest inventions is a plastic that has self-healing abilities.
By mimicking the vascular system of the human body, this new plastic can “clot” a puncture of scratch. The plastic contains a network of tubes that run through it. Within the tubes are two separate gels. When they are mixed together, by being cut or injured; they mix together to form a new surface. It may not be as tough as the original but it’s about 60 percent as strong. Another version of plastic that repairs itself, was demonstrated by the American Chemical Society. Professor Marek W. Urban said, “Our new plastic tries to mimic nature, issuing a red signal when damaged and then renewing itself when exposed to visible light, temperature or pH changes.”
These new plastics have the ability to ‘clot’ small holes. And more than that they amaze us with all the possibilities for the future. They could repair a scratch on the finish of an automobile or repair bridges, aircraft and skyscrapers. What was once difficult to impossible to repair, can soon become as natural and elementary, as say, nature.
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