Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Researchers Develop Self-Healing Plastic

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the you're-terminated dept.

Robotics 71

schliz writes "Arizona State researchers have been working on a 'self-healing' polymer that uses a fibre optic 'nervous system' to detect and fix cracks. The system recovers up to 96 percent of an object's original strength in laboratory tests. It could find use in 'large-scale composite structures for which human intervention would be difficult,' such as wind turbines, satellites, aircraft, or the Mars Rover."

cancel ×

71 comments

I for one (2, Funny)

anonymousNR (1254032) | more than 3 years ago | (#34517534)

welcome our self-healing plastic overlords

Re:I for one (1, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34517626)

I for one reject and spit on our ancient meme spouting underlords

Re:I for one (2)

spazdor (902907) | more than 3 years ago | (#34517832)

I for one welcome everyone dogpiling onto the first post to make fun of the people making fun of the people making fun.

Re:I for one (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34517970)

I for one, get the second I half off

Re:I for one (1)

dakameleon (1126377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518474)

I, for one, love the fact that this is modded "redundant".

All we need now (1)

i ate my neighbour (1756816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34517600)

is self replicating machines built with self healing material.

Re:All we need now (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34517706)

Hell, we *are* "self replicating machines built with self healing material".

Re:All we need now (2)

spazdor (902907) | more than 3 years ago | (#34517852)

You've got one. It is the device between your keyboard and your chair.

Re:All we need now (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34517902)

Self healing perhaps but I would not bet anything on the replicating part.

Re:All we need now (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518464)

Self healing perhaps but I would not bet anything on the replicating part.

Parthenogenesis hasn't been shown to work in anything more advanced than a frog, but there is hope yet. [wsj.com]

Re:All we need now (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34522286)

Self healing perhaps but I would not bet anything on the replicating part.

Parthenogenesis hasn't been shown to work in anything more advanced than a frog,

Frogs are very advanced. One could argue that they're more "advanced" than humans (in terms of anatomical specialisation).

Try saying what you (probably) mean for a change.

Re:All we need now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527916)

Yeah, /. and all that....

Re:All we need now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34566558)

my skin regenerates my fingernails certainly do as well that seems to me to be replicating

Tagged with Terminator imagery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34517628)

Guess they are trying to head the "And this was how Skynet was created." jokes off at the pass.

Just a thought... roadways? (3, Interesting)

daemonhunter (968210) | more than 3 years ago | (#34517684)

I'm sure someone's already working on a patent for this, but what would stop us from replacing sections of road with textured, self-healing plastic?
We still have too little information on the plastic at hand, but it could hopefully reduce Transit Dept. maintenance costs worldwide.

Re:Just a thought... roadways? (4, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34517934)

Probably not, at least not on the surface. The problem is that a significant portion of the wear and tear is from the surface rubbing off. It might help some, but doubtful that it would be enough to make it worthwhile.

Re:Just a thought... roadways? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34518372)

not rubbing off, spalling off. Unless someone's doing peel-outs with carbide-tipped studded tires...

Re:Just a thought... roadways? (4, Insightful)

RsG (809189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518560)

Also, a fair bit of the issue is cost per mile.

We could build, right now, with modern technology, roads that could go decades or longer between repaving or other maintenance. No self-healing wonderplastic required; modern engineering and existing materials are up to the task. Wouldn't last forever, but if you only need to make repairs every eighty odd years, that's more than good enough. It might even been economical in the very, very long run.

The reason we don't do this is money. Simple asphalt and gravel, with sporadic repairs and repaving every decade or so is "good enough". Long term savings that would take most of a human lifespan to pay off aren't attractive to anybody in a position to implement them, for obvious reasons.

Re:Just a thought... roadways? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519882)

I am an American living in Europe and many of the roads in this country are made of cobblestones. They don't wear down easily and it's easy to replace very specific areas of the road instead of tearing it all up.

Sometimes old tech is better than new tech.

Re:Just a thought... roadways? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518088)

Plastics suck for road material. They are too soft, break down from the weather and UV, salts, sand, gravel will erode it.

We use concrete, asphalt and gravel for a reason, the price and durability are right.

Plus for damage like cracks and gouges, it's not magic, there will still have to be materials brought in

Re:Just a thought... roadways? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34518664)

The cost of using even "flexible" concrete that can withstand several time compression before cracking is many times higher than standard concrete. It has been tested. The issue is that surface under the road is not fixed in place as one may think, being ignorant of surface dynamics, but moves slightly (or a lot, very quickly, during an earthquake), especially in areas with freeze/thaw conditions. Even digging down five feet to build a more better roadbed doesn't prevent cracking over time.

Re:Just a thought... roadways? (1)

Bozdune (68800) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518674)

Sonny Corleone will stop you from replacing sections of road with textured, self-healing plastic. By using a baseball bat on your kneecaps.

Re:Just a thought... roadways? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34520120)

Ding ding ding! We have a winner! It's called graft, not to mention occasional kickbacks. It's why many roads in the U.S. are "under construction" for 6 months, only to have the actual work being done during one week of that whole period. Making sure the roads don't last and wear out on a regular basis is profitable business.

Re:Just a thought... roadways? (1)

Poorcku (831174) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518790)

you are thinking big. i was thinking more in the lines of scratches on my android screen. cool.

Re:Just a thought... roadways? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519296)

The cost for this material would be through the roof. The plastic isn't especially expensive but that's a lot of fiber-optic cable along with the need for substations every so often to regenerate the laser intensity and the cost of the electricity. If cost wasn't an issue in building material we would just cover our roads with diamond.

Do you know what else is self healing... (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34517702)

...Wolverine and the T-1000. Wolverine was alive and the T-1000 was a machine. That's it, time to take out sky net!

Re:Do you know what else is self healing... (2)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518448)

Wolverine joining forces with a T-1000 to take out skynet? Somebody give this guy 200M dollars please.

Re:Do you know what else is self healing... (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518566)

I am pretty confident that you completely missed what I was implying. Oh well, can't teach em all

Re:Do you know what else is self healing... (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34522300)

I am pretty confident that you completely missed what I was implying.

Then your message failed.

BTW, I'm not sure what the fuck you mean either. Wolverine I recognise as a Marvel Comics character from the mid-70s ; the rest is probably waste-of-time internent memes from the '90s.

Re:Do you know what else is self healing... (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34541502)

Wow, really? So, we are talking about things that can heal themselves. You with me so far? You sure? Now, living and unliving. We are going to look at them based off of fictional items, like Wolverine and the T-1000 who both self healed. Now, are you still paying attention? Hopefully after your cookie and milk you did not get all tired, it is not nap time yet. We are not dealing with a species that can self heal, like Wolverine, hence, it is saying that he is not a threat, and that the T-1000 is now a possible threat

Hence, the reason why I mention time to take out Skynet. Wow, it is /. and you guys really need the entire thing spelled out for you. When looking at both and then saying, "Hey, let's look at the T-1000 since that is self healing" and then you just get retarded.

Please stick to anon and 4chan instead of making me explain my stuff further skiddies

Re:Do you know what else is self healing... (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34543944)

Wow, really? So, we are talking about things that can heal themselves. You with me so far?

Yes.

We are going to look at them based off of fictional items,

Why? Is retreating into objects of fantasy your normal response to science/ technology news?

Wolverine and the T-1000 who both self healed.

[SNIP]

take out Skynet.

Wolverine I understand - a character from the X-men comics which I stopped reading in the late 1970s. About the time I started to grow hair on my balls.

"T-1000", I don't remember from any comics, or from any books that I've read in the interim.

"Skynet" likewise.

Now shove your dummy back into your mouth (wipe the shit off it first, if you want) and speak English, boy! (Of course, you remember that meme, making fun of fucktard rednecks in the name of a major bank operating in pre-Fall-of-Apartheid South Africa.)

Re:Do you know what else is self healing... (1)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 3 years ago | (#34559320)

The T-1000 is the "liquid metal" terminator from Terminator 2, Skynet is the name of the computer that would start the man/machine war in the future (2004).

Stregano really seems to be using some sort of alternative language to regular English or rather English grammar with unkown assumptions. Let's dissect:

[Do you know what else is self healing...] ...Wolverine and the T-1000. Wolverine was alive and the T-1000 was a machine. That's it, time to take out sky net!

Normalizing the first sentence here it says:

"Do you know what else are self healing? Wolverine and the T-1000."

Which is true. The second sentence is:

"Wolverine was alive and the T-1000 was a machine."

There are three 3 things wrong here, the fist is just weird; why using the past tense? Wolverine and *that* T-1000 both exist "now", from the point of view of either one's source work.

Secondly, "alive" here seems to carry a different meaning to just alive, one opposed to machine, he seems to mean "organic" or "biological". Although it must be mentioned that the T-1000 barely fits the description of machine as we usually understand it.

And of course thirdly, what does he mean anyway? Of course one is organic and the other isn't, so what? He seems to be drawing a conclusion from these premises but neither the context nor the conclusion is stated. He might as well be saying:

Wolverine is alive and the T-1000 is a machine. That's it, time to offer Wolverine some dinner!

Sorry for the rant there. Not a native anglophone myself, I still get a kick out of analyzing bad writing.

Re:Do you know what else is self healing... (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34581314)

Sorry for the rant there. Not a native anglophone myself, I still get a kick out of analyzing bad writing.

Being a native anglophone married to a non-native speaker, the incompetence of some people at using what appears to be their own language infuriates me.

The T-1000 is the "liquid metal" terminator from Terminator 2, Skynet is the name of the computer that would start the man/machine war in the future (2004).

I think I saw some of the first Terminator movie - that's the "I'll be back" one? - and consequently haven't bothered to watch any of the rest. Though it's possible that I've been in the TV lounge when some of them have been playing - "liquid metal" rings a bell, and now that I think about it, there's some memory of motorcycle stunts too.

I think that Arnie's best work was early in his career - starring in gay porn. When he got out of that business his work became comparatively stereotyped and repetitive.

Re:Do you know what else is self healing... (1)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 3 years ago | (#34583608)

that's the "I'll be back" one?

Every Terminator movie is "the \"I'll be back\" one", it's one of the movies catchphrases. Actually I think 2 is the one that uses it most.

While the first one is the most shocking and new one, 2 is absolutely the best of the franchise. I consider it Cameron's best movie.

The pace is varied and fluid, the photography and ambient are engulfing, the action is novel. The plot twists unexpectedly without being disorientating or nonsensical. It managed to be practical, poetical, fun and dramatic; ad did it all well.

It was a milestone, a trend-setter that even today influences all action movies. Thus, it's chokeful of clichés, mainly because it has been pillaged like crazy by every action movie since.

Don't think of it as one of Arnie's movies, think about it as one of Cameron's movies, but then again I doubt you'll like it.

Re:Do you know what else is self healing... (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34585652)

Cameron who?

(You can tell that my film studies teacher didn't impress me with the benefits of colour over mono, and I think it's still too early to tell if sound was a good move.)

I think I was underwhelmed when I saw a video of the first Terminator movie when it came out and simply haven't chosen to waste time or attention on them since. If they feel the need to recycle catch phrases between movies, then that doesn't sound very enthusing. Wouldn't it have been better to get the first one right than to flog the dead horse again to try to teach it to sing? ("Right" defined in the only way it can be : "interesting, to me".)

Re:Do you know what else is self healing... (1)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 3 years ago | (#34585858)

Not really, while 2 largely echoed 1, it also played to subvert itself, which couldn't be done without the first one to set expectations. They are just different movies.

Director James Cameron of Aliens (sequel to Alien), Titanic and Avatar's fame, not that you'll know anything about them, except probably negative things.

May I ask, what is it that you find interesting mister? I'm really expecting something impossibly obscure, inconceivably boring and flabbergastingly pedantic, but tell me anyway.

Just so long as they don't build robots with it (1)

Some.Net(Guy) (1733146) | more than 3 years ago | (#34517714)

Self-aware + self-healing = End of human civilization

What about cars? (4, Interesting)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 3 years ago | (#34517742)

How many times do you drive down the road and see a cars rear or front bumper with a dent/crack, yet the rest of the car is perfectly fine?
the reason most dont fix the bumper is believe it or not a bumper cover can cost 200-500 bucks, and another 200-500 bucks to paint, and if you dont know what your doing, another 200 bucks to put back on!. I see it all the time on the roads by me, and in the cities, forget it every other car.

Re:What about cars? (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34517942)

If you have a crescent wrench / socket set you can go to the salvage yard and get a replacement for about $50 and put it on yourself. They are usually held on by 2-4 bolts. But your idea of the $20,000 self healing bumper works to.

Re:What about cars? (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518202)

Depends on the car. If it's one of the newer models with a plastic bumper, even from a salvage yard you're talking $200+ for the bumper, hopefully getting one that matches your car.

Re:What about cars? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518458)

If you're paying $200+ for anything at a salvage yard other than an engine or a transmission you're getting ripped off. (ok, maybe a large pickup trick axle might run you $200) And since your bumpers already toast, break off a chunk and take it with you so you know the paint matches.

Re:What about cars? (2)

swb (14022) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518248)

If you can find one without dings in the junk yard that matches your color.

Half the reason these things end up in the junk yard to begin with is they get into some kind of accident which generally screws up the bumpers. And due to exposure differences you get different paint fade characteristics which cause color matches to look like color mismatches.

But I appreciate your over-simplified fix it yourself mindset.

Re:What about cars? (1)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518960)

sadly there are not many "do it yourself" salvage yards these days. Most of them are smarter and price things out for better or worse I suppose. I was going by experience with the numbers that I used. As for the 20K self healing bumper, I understand tech is expensive when new, however I am talking down the line and volume. If EVERY bumper on sad car had this, the sheer volume alone should cause the price to drop. give it 5-10 years and it may be a reality.

Re:What about cars? (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518102)

The reason you don't see bumper covers fixed is that the ignorant assholes in Boston, New York, etc. slam into the cars in front of and behind them so that they know where the front and back of their car is. They just don't give a fuck about other people's property. You can have your bumper fixed today, and if you park around the city, in a week the bumper will be dinged again.

Re:What about cars? (1)

Unkyjar (1148699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519074)

What are you doing, driving in NYC? Take the subway like everybody else.

Re:What about cars? (4, Funny)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518140)

One of my father's favorite stories is about a time he brought his car to a body shop to get a dent fixed. It was a dent in the trunk, roughly the size of a basketball. The guy wanted $450 to fix it (this was many years ago, so inflate to whatever sounds appropriate). He declined. When he got back home and took another look at it, he got pissed off about the whole thing and slammed his fist into the trunk... which caused most of the dent to pop back into place. What was left was closer to the size of a tennis ball. He went back to the same guy a week later and they quoted him $50 for it. He's always referred to it as his $400 punch.

Not really self healing. (4, Informative)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34517762)

It just grows stronger and returns to its original shape when cracked. A clean break would not be able to be healed. And that "repair" will fail if they ever turn off the lights in the fiber optics because the crack is still there and the strengthened plastic near the crack will cool back down.

Re:Not really self healing. (1)

stiffy (93933) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518036)

That was what I thought. Also had a nagging thought that I had heard of self-healing plastic [wikipedia.org] before. Now if they combine these two...

Re:Not really self healing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34518168)

It just grows stronger.

Not quite. From TFA "The system recovers up to 96 percent of an object's original strength in laboratory tests."

Re:Not really self healing. (2)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518356)

Also from TFA the specific area directly around the crack grows "11 times more tough" due to the light and heat leaking from the broken fiber optic. That is what I was referencing.

Re:Not really self healing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34518424)

It's only a flesh wound...

What does it eat? (1)

mikaelwbergene (1944966) | more than 3 years ago | (#34517768)

Do we have to feed it over time? Eventually it would run out of material to stretch and break down, right? It can't just make material out of thin air.

MJ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34517778)

Maybe now MJ can get his nose fixed?

Re:MJ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34517844)

Surely the parent knows the news... hmmmmm

Re:MJ? (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518478)

Surely the parent knows about Thriller... hmmm...

Terminator? (1)

t20alex (1542015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34517850)

Who tagged this story as "Terminator". Last I heard terminators were not mass produced in China.

Re:Terminator? (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34517994)

That we know of....

Re:Terminator? (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518108)

Japan are making astonishing progress on the Cherry2000, however.

Re:Terminator? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518386)

I have no idea, there are no resistors connected to signal wires in busses or networks for the purpose of impedance matching to prevent reflections in a piece of plastic, are there?

Wait, maybe I'm not really at slashdot...

What breaks the plastic? (1)

godatum (1956822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518190)

I'm assuming whatever breaks/damages the plastic would also possibly damage the light source?

Blister Packs! (3, Funny)

splerdu (187709) | more than 3 years ago | (#34518408)

This could take packaging to the next level!
Now, opening that new set of headphones will require the sacrifice of your whole hand, not just a couple of fingers.

At last, my Holy Grail, (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34519084)

A Fleshlight I cannot wear out!

Isn't plastic derived from oil...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519274)

Oil being that finite natural resource that we're running out of, should we still be looking for new ways to use it when supplies are limited? Isn't a Lorax due to pop out of an oil well any time now?

Poor plastics... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34519960)

Self-healing plastic has been announced many times before, and if it continues to see no applications I'm afraid one day we will have self-hating plastic. :(

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34520148)

Okay, so now to develop a type for plastic surgery...

Auto-repair circuits activated. (1)

CityZen (464761) | more than 3 years ago | (#34521216)

Just don't fly into any nano-particle fields, or your ship may be destroyed too!

Re:Auto-repair circuits activated. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34522338)

Wasn't that some kind of biological material? If Avon hadn't taken that key, the fourth series might not have happened!

Self Healing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34521772)

Excellent, now my overlord robots will be complete with self healing abilities.

they forgot one application (1)

dominious (1077089) | more than 3 years ago | (#34521940)

skynet

Application: the mars rover? (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34524318)

First of all, I thought that there were 2 mars rovers, and neither one of them has any problems relating to any plastic shell. Even if either would have a problem that could be fixable with this self repairing plastic, I would *not* like to be on the repair crew.

So I presume that they are targeting future space robots, and are using the successful rovers for advertising purposes?

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...