Them scientist chaps are clever aren’t they? Constantly forcing society forwards. Sure, they’ve got things wrong on occasion, like the guy who invented leaded petrol and CFCs, cheers for that.
Technological advances today are often driven by a need to become more efficient and environmentally friendly. Much of the fuels we use today screw with our air (which we apparently need for breathing) and some of the materials we create can last for ever poisoning fish on a global scale. So we’ve got some catching up to do.
The following five incredible materials may all play their part in the slightly more considerate future of humanity.
1) Self-Healing Plastics
Human skin is awesome at making itself better again. You can cut a pretty big hole in yourself and within an impressively short time-span it will mend itself entirely. Plastic, on the other hand, completely sucks at self-healing… but not for long.
These bio-inspired, self-healing plastics are still in the development phase but things are looking good. A few years ago scientists developed plastics that could self-heal microscopic cracks but recent advancements have seen a plastic that can heal a 4 mm hole.
The plastics involved have a tiny vascular system containing polymers. When a wound opens up the chemicals leach out and clot like blood.
Initially they will cost an absolute bomb to create, so the first applications will probably be on places that are a bummer to get to, like space for instance. It’ll be a while until your cracked iPhone screen heals I’m afraid, they certainly haven’t got an app for that.