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Self-Healing Plastic Skin

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the polymer-heal-thyself dept.

Robotics 104

An anonymous reader writes "Scientists have developed a form of plastic skin that can heal itself when damaged. The material relies on an underlying network of vessels — similar to blood capillaries — that carry a healing agent to areas on the material's surface that sustain damage. Unlike previous self-healing systems that relied on capsules of agent buried in the polymer and which became depleted after one use, the new system can respond to damage at the same point many times over."

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Plastic skin... (4, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476091)

Plastic skin...
No big win.
A chiseled chin,
Flashy as Flynn:
Burma Shave

Re:Plastic skin... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19476211)

This will be great for anal sex!

Re:Plastic skin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19476287)

After the release of the iPhone, Apple intends to focus all developement on their new project: iAnal. iAnal will be making extensive use of plastic skin.

Re:Plastic skin... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19477009)

IANAL, but I don't think they could get a trademark on such a confusing name.

Re:Plastic skin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19477413)

That's not a troll - it may be true. Anal tearing aides the spread of a lot of STD's.

VIRGIN fracture surface - from TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19479009)

at the pdf figure 3 shows a VIRGIN fracture surface, so it gave a brilliant idea self-sealing - you know what -

That would be really cool if you could activate and deactivate this mode every other month...

eeeeeeee-haaaaaaaaaaa

I for one welcome our plastic skin overlords (3, Funny)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476097)

HAIL Joan Rivers!

Re:I for one welcome our plastic skin overlords (2, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476299)

HELL, Burt Reynolds!

One ste closer... (1, Insightful)

stormi (837687) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476117)

... to living forever!

Honestly though, as cool as it sounds, I can't help but wonder what adverse side effects there might be for some individuals.

Re:One ste closer... (4, Informative)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476169)

It's not a replacement for biological skin. According to the article it has applications in, eg, aeronautical applications where maintaining a seal is critical. You wouldn't consider an advance in paint or similar coatings to be immediately applicable to building a super body so you shouldn't be getting too excited by the use of the term "skin".

Re:One ste closer... (2, Funny)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476693)

you shouldn't be getting too excited by the use of the term "skin".

Obviously you have high expectations for Slashdot.

Re:Atlantis (1)

Oersoep (938754) | more than 7 years ago | (#19477281)

I bet NASA'll wish they'd put that stuff on Atlantis.

Re:Atlantis (1)

gerilart (825523) | more than 7 years ago | (#19477587)

It can not survive high temperature. Service temperature of most of epoxies is 200C.

Re:Atlantis (1)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 7 years ago | (#19479269)

Which is fine, mind you, because neither can the human under it deal with temperatures of over 200 Celcius.

Re:Atlantis (1)

ppc_digger (961188) | more than 7 years ago | (#19477645)

Don't you mean Columbia?

Re:One ste closer... (5, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476191)

I can't help but wonder what adverse side effects there might be for some individuals.

Well, individuals who don't RTFA might end up sticking this stuff to themselves instead of using it in machinery or structures.

Re:One ste closer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19476305)

Well, individuals who don't RTFA might end up sticking this stuff to themselves instead of using it in machinery or structures.
You must be new here.

Re:One ste closer... (3, Funny)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476201)

Well first, this isn't meant for biological applications. Second, if it were then I somehow doubt it would be *worse* than having *no skin at all*.

Re:One ste closer... (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476239)

... to living forever!
Only if you happen to have plastic skin.

I can't help but wonder what adverse side effects there might be for some individuals.
What possible side effects could there be to being a plastic based life form?

Re:One step closer... (4, Funny)

Yoozer (1055188) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476413)

What possible side effects could there be to being a plastic based life form?
You insensitive clod! I'm melting! I'm melting!

Re:One ste closer... (5, Funny)

Thrakamazog (794533) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476429)

What possible side effects could there be to being a plastic based life form?
People constantly trying to recycle you?

Re:One ste closer... (1)

zobier (585066) | more than 7 years ago | (#19486339)

What possible side effects could there be to being a plastic based life form?
People constantly trying to recycle you?
Gotta be better than ppl recycling the same old jokes on /.


(comment not directed at parent =)

Re:One ste closer... (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 7 years ago | (#19477905)

"What possible side effects could there be to being a plastic based life form?"

Ocean life keeps getting stuck in you and dying?

Re:One ste closer... (1)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 7 years ago | (#19478769)

What possible side effects could there be to being a plastic based life form?
You are forced to be made in China.

Re:One ste closer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19480213)

Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought China was already the #1 manufacturer of people.

Re:One ste closer... (1)

Barryke (772876) | more than 7 years ago | (#19484623)

Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought China was already the #1 manufacturer of people.
Always thought the USA was the #1 manufacturer of people. I count in total mass, not instances.

Re:One ste closer... (1)

pionzypher (886253) | more than 7 years ago | (#19485677)

Population of China: 1,321,851,888 [google.com]
Population of America: 301,139,947 [google.com]
Average weight of American males: 190 lbs [cdc.gov]
Average weight of American females: 165 lbs [cdc.gov]

Ballpark figure of human biomass in america: 26,349,745 tons.
Average chinese weight needed to break even with america in human mass: 39.86 lbs.

Yeah, I know I just screwed up the joke... blame the science channel and their seemingly endless commercial breaks. ;)

Re:One ste closer... (1)

El Mariachi 94 (1064198) | more than 7 years ago | (#19485457)

What possible side effects could there be to being a plastic based life form?
Ask Britney Spears.

Re:One ste closer... (1)

dmihalko (966391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19477337)

I can't help but wonder what adverse side effects there might be for some individuals.
i can't help but wonder what adverse side effects there might be for some robots. this is one step closer from them taking over.

Re:One ste closer... (1)

ppc_digger (961188) | more than 7 years ago | (#19477693)

i can't help but wonder what adverse side effects there might be for some robots. this is one step closer from them taking over.

I, for one, welcome our new plastic-skinned robotic overlords.

There, fixed it for you.

Burn victims (5, Funny)

Atheose (932144) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476119)

Imagine how this could be applied to burn victims.

Or, on a more humerous note, Michael Jackson. Though I suppose there's no cure for wierdness.

Re:Burn victims (3, Insightful)

john83 (923470) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476161)

Imagine how this could be applied to burn victims.
I don't think it's there yet. I'm not sure anything that uses solid epoxy resins as healing agents is likely to get FDA (or whatever the appropriate body is!) approval for use in people. In industry though... it could be very cool to have an aeroplane that could deal with a crack in the hull, or a spacecraft which could fill micrometeorite holes.

Re:Burn victims (1)

revengebomber (1080189) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476181)

Oop, got your nose!

...

Holy shit it's growing back!

Re:Burn victims (1)

DavidV (167283) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476501)

Imagine how this could be applied to burn victims.

Or, on a more humerous note, Michael Jackson. Though I suppose there's no cure for wierdness.
I immediately thought the same thing.... burn victims, not the creepy pop identity. I got severely burnt, >90%. They used artificial skin on most of my body as there was only ~10% to graft from, it had to be replaced with my own skin once the donor sites had regenerated which took 2 weeks surprisingly. I had 2 donor sites so 1-2 operations a week for months. This sounds like it could have saved me about 30 operations and I would be invincible now. I kind of already am, the way they work out percentage chance of survival came up negative for me....that was 9 years ago. I want plastic skin, I could join the X-Men, no I'm not an ex-man, that was part of the 10% thankfully.

Re:Burn victims (1)

DavidV (167283) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476533)

Imagine how this could be applied to burn victims.

Or, on a more humerous note, Michael Jackson. Though I suppose there's no cure for wierdness.
I immediately thought the same thing.... burn victims, not the creepy pop identity. I got severely burnt, >90%. They used artificial skin on most of my body as there was only ~10% to graft from, it had to be replaced with my own skin once the donor sites had regenerated which took 2 weeks surprisingly. I had 2 donor sites so 1-2 operations a week for months. This sounds like it could have saved me about 30 operations and I would be invincible now. I kind of already am, the way they work out percentage chance of survival came up negative for me....that was 9 years ago. I want plastic skin, I could join the X-Men, no I'm not an ex-man, that was part of the 10% thankfully.
Damn it's not biological skin I hear....I was designing my costume.

Re:Burn victims (1)

Atheose (932144) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476903)

Yeah, this new skin would be great for someone in a situation like yours. Imagine being able to use this rather than taking skin off your ass or from other donors.

Re:Burn victims (1)

ls -la (937805) | more than 7 years ago | (#19478235)

the way they work out percentage chance of survival came up negative for me
Well, if they didn't give a time limit on it, they might as well say zero.

Re:Burn victims (1)

TuxBeej (75679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19478691)

90% burns... username "DavidV"...

You're not David [wikipedia.org] , are you?

Re:Burn victims (1)

Matimus (598096) | more than 7 years ago | (#19479567)

His original post said it was 9 years ago. From the Wikipedia article, "David" came out in 1988, 19 years ago. If the movie really is based on a true story, the actual event would have happened some time before that. So I don't think DavidV is "David".

Re:Burn victims (1)

slackingme (690217) | more than 7 years ago | (#19479765)

Hey David,

That sounds like it was a horrible ordeal. I've often wondered how skin grafting works for extensive burn victims and I appreciate the insight but I'm sorry you have the information to share. Glad you beat the odds, friend, and that you're here to share your experience with us now.

Here's to Dave, science, and the human determination, creativity, and compassion that give us hope for a better tomorrow.

In other news... (1)

will.perdikakis (1074743) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476915)

Pepsi Co. just released a report stating the full acquisition of this technology.

We are DOOMed! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19476133)

I mean... now we'll all look like the guys in Doom 3 and Quake 4, and--who didn't like that glossy look?

Interesting concept (5, Interesting)

LordBafford (1087463) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476145)

This is a very good break through. With a material like this if it can be mass produced and make correctly we could see this in homes and cars as possible replacements for windows. Saying that if something broke a window it would just fix itself automatically. I assume the military will fine plenty of uses for this too. I noted that the main use they were talking about is related to space, which is great and could potentially saw millions on our various orbiters and probes where as if they are hit by debris in space they can repair themselves and save countless man hours and material in planning a mission to fix them.

Re:Interesting concept (3, Informative)

theaceoffire (1053556) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476363)

This wouldn't work for windows unless you cracked them... If you have a crack, the veins would ooze out of em, sealing them. If you have a hole, the veins would just ooze... If it seals fast enough, it MIGHT be able to create some sort of covering, but that covering would have no veins inside it, meaning it can't repair itself again in the future, meaning that the window has to be replaced anyway. Nah, the real places you are going to see this being used, is in wires, tubes, and other items that don't have to worry about human skin or being toxic, where cracks occur through use and are relatively small... Also, just like for any major injury you need to see a doctor, if these wires get messed up badly, you will need a professional to fix em, or a mechanic to replace them. Oh, and back to the window thing...O.o what happens to the shards if they fall? Won't it ooze out all over the place from the veins that were in the piece?

Re:Interesting concept (1)

LordBafford (1087463) | more than 7 years ago | (#19480185)

True, but i was thinking of it more like that new bulletproof vest they have that would absorb some the impact and then just regenerate the damage done. Not sure if this is what they are going for but a combination of the two products would be an excellent idea IMHO. Hopefully they are working on that as well.

Re:Interesting concept (2, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476423)

I can think of a thousand uses around the house. Cutting boards in the kitchen (or maybe even kitchen countertops!), a workplace mat for the garage. You could make garbage cans out of the stuff (think of how many times the garbage collectors have destroyed your can). Durable flooring. I wonder if you could make a desk out of the stuff...

 

Re:Interesting concept (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19480787)

Saying that if something broke a window it would just fix itself automatically
Sadly... thats a bad thing... ever hear of breaking and entering? They would definitely need to advance DNA research and forensics before this ever gets implemented into something like this.

Body-shop (0)

b0z0n3 (1086487) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476147)

Well, if tanks could repair themselves - Now that would be cool. I thought auto-repair was limited to C&C Generals :-)

Re:Body-shop (4, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476183)

I thought auto-repair was limited to C&C Generals :-)
I don't know where you live, but there are three auto-repair shops within a couple miles of my house. One of them even specializes in fancy imports.

Re:Body-shop (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476353)

So, why would someone with a nick like "Red Flayer" be so rough on automobiles?
Do you run a horse and buggy dealership? ;)

This is the beginning... (0, Redundant)

blcamp (211756) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476153)

...Resistance is futile.

for one... (1, Redundant)

Z80a (971949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476163)

i welcome the self healing,plastic cyborgs overlords

Someone seems confused (0, Flamebait)

djupedal (584558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476205)

The skin (largest body organ) I have is already 'self-healing'. That is what medicine is all about. Medicine never 'fixes' anything, it just attempts to promote favorable conditions.

Re:Someone seems confused (2, Insightful)

surfer.jam (1110627) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476733)

Medicine was not the first "healing agent." Our own body has agents, for instance, as the article stated, the capillaries in our blood, that heal our skin. The blood "oozes" out of the opening in our skin causing the capillaries to cover the injury and, after a long process, heal our skin. The "self-healing plastic 'skin'" is not a replacement for ours, but a material that attempts to imitate the processes our body uses to heal our skin.

Re:Someone seems confused (-1, Troll)

djupedal (584558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19477291)

'Flamebait' ...?

Sounds like an agenda on some mods' part looking to waste points - Thanks for taking a run at my opinion, but that kind of mod is weak & childish at best - try again next time... I can take it :)

Bingo! : (-1, Troll)

djupedal (584558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19478051)

Troll...?

Sssss u c k e r...made you waste a mod point! What a schmuck - heheheheheheheheh!!! :)

Revolutionary change! (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476241)

Self-healing kids' toys! The world will never be the same again.

No need! (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476371)

"Scientists noticed that whenever an airplane would crash, they'd search through the wreckage and the only thing that ever survives intact are these cute little baby dolls. So they built Starbug out of the same stuff."

Re:No need! (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476559)

But there is one thing that can destroy a cute little baby doll: Another cute little baby doll.

Re:Revolutionary change! (1)

ChefInnocent (667809) | more than 7 years ago | (#19482865)

Chucky?

Sadly the first application will be for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19476309)

S&M Real Doll

Hurry (1)

thehorse (899389) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476393)

Destroy the plastic skin before the T-1000 can come back from the future to grab it and the cybernetic arm and CPU and return to the future to ensure its existence.

Alarm Clocks (1, Funny)

syntap (242090) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476449)

Finally, my morning tormentor will be able to heal itself after its otherwise-fatal blow or toss.

I've asked before and I'll ask again.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19476457)

Where the hell is my robot girlfriend?

FViRst post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19476529)

up my to7s. I'm [goat.cx]

And so it begins.... (0, Redundant)

johosaphats (1082929) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476579)

When do we start production of the Model 101 Terminators?

mod 3own (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19476659)

something done me if You'd like, own lube, Beverage, It simple, *BSD is dying It is going to continue, users of BSD/OS. A are She had taken

tee hee. has anybody told Michael Jackson? (1, Redundant)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476837)

has anybody told Michael Jackson?

I mean he's just got to be beating down their doors on this one....

..shudders.

lets face it, any new design of skin is probably better then what he has.

Finally! (2, Funny)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 7 years ago | (#19476983)

We can do that live action version of The Polar Express [imdb.com]

The Possibilities... (5, Insightful)

astapleton (324242) | more than 7 years ago | (#19477161)

...are enormous.

1) A layer of self-healing plastic inside a space suit to seal off punctures before the astronaut loses too much air.
2) Same thing on a larger scale for boats - just make the plastic sensitive to direct contact to water.
3) Same thing on an even larger scale for planes, especially jetliners.
4) Same thing on the largest scale for shuttles, space stations and true spacecraft.
5) Plastic layers inside the seams and seals of a car so that water-immersed vehicles can slow water flow into a car long enough to increase the accident victim's chances of survival without preventing them from escaping a sinking vehicle.
6) Battlefield plastic skin bandages to protect a wound from further damage, cover and clean it, maintain pressure on the injury and encourage clotting at the wound site.

I could go on for a while on this, these being just the accident-oriented uses...

Re:The Possibilities... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19478421)

AC because I'm lazy

Note that it is almost impossible to open a car door underwater before the cabin has filled w/ water because of the pressure differential.

For reference see Mythbusters.

Re:The Possibilities... (1)

janus_games (1114671) | more than 7 years ago | (#19482149)

Your suggestions, while lovely, aren't really feasible. I think a big misconception about the usefulness of this technology is the speed at which this approach would actually do its work.

You're never going to get huge speed from a capillary system, you're limited by flow restrictions and capillary pressure. Even more importantly, you want a capillary system to rebuild slowly so control is maintained and sustained over the process.

Which would be more desirable, cutting a low pressure set of small veins (like those at the tip of your finger), or a high pressure set of large veins (like the carotid artery)?

Most likely, in an ideal system, you'll have major flow vectors (like your major veins and arteries) that capillary off into areas closer to the "skin".

A more practical use for the system would be used for maintenance of something that often tends to see wear or cracking from bending or being exposed to the elements. Think more along the lines of maintaining existing seals from exposure, or keeping plastic around joints properly from cracking under repeated motion stress.

Re:The Possibilities... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19483529)

True but it would work well against micro fissures and similar that still poses a threat to say astronaut gear or inflatable space modules but not on the immediate time frame.

I've got a message for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19477255)

Save the plastic, save the world.

Stretch Man (3, Insightful)

Derosian (943622) | more than 7 years ago | (#19477567)

Finally they can make a Stretch man that will be able to repair itself! Never again will we have to worry about the gooey insides coming out. Now we just need to find a way to keep the insides from hardening.

On a more serious note, this could easily be used as a combat suit, think of it as a tight suit that repairs itself. If you get stabbed the suit first protects you from the blade and covers up the wound protecting you from blood loss, I can think up hundreds of practical applications for this outside of the realm of combat too. Pressure sensitive equipment can self-repair, as well as if this material is a good insulator then it might be applicable to wiring.

Re:Stretch Man (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19478153)

Finally they can make a Stretch man that will be able to repair itself!
Is this one of the few occasions it might be on-topic to mention goatse?

Stretch Armstrong Must Die! (1)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#19483963)

Never again will we have to worry about the gooey insides coming out.
I thought that was the whole purpose of Stretch. I mean honestly, what could you do with Stretch? Stretch him. How long would that remain entertaining? Less than an hour. What do you do after that? If you were anything like me and my friends, you took a knife to him to see what was inside.

T0.5? (0, Redundant)

Dausha (546002) | more than 7 years ago | (#19477675)

Doesn't anybody remember that the first cyborgs had plastic/rubber skin? We could identify them very quickly. The T-1000s were the first to have living tissue over the robotic endoskeleton.

On step closer to Skynet.

This could help solve a key issue in space (1)

btarval (874919) | more than 7 years ago | (#19477695)

This is a neat technology with uses other than skin. One thing which comes to mind is the issue of punctures in the space station, or even rocket ships, due to collisions with all of the junk that is currently in orbit. Or space suits.

If they could only get this to work in the low temperature of space, I think they'd have an instant contract with NASA.

IIRC, a science fiction writer once wrote about something similar. Asimov, I think. But the "healing" happened from a gel contained on the inside of the structure, not the outside. The combination of the two ideas could lead to much more hardened space structures.

Re:This could help solve a key issue in space (1)

Loke the Dog (1054294) | more than 7 years ago | (#19478483)

Using foam in the exterior casing to "heal" holes has been around as long as I have. Now, I don't know if NASA uses that technology or not, but if they don't its not because its previously been impossible, but rather that its been deemed unsuitable to repair space stations that way. So I don't really see how this new technology would make any difference.

Re:This could help solve a key issue in space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19486959)

The interior foam approach requires more weight. In addition to the weight of the foam, you have to add another layer to the outside wall. The current size of all of our space vechicles (including the ISS) are pretty small, making the probability of catestrophic damage pretty small. Small enough that working without the self-sealing foam (and walls) isn't worth the cost.

The outside skin approach might be useful. Low weight and there's no extra wall required. The real question would be whether the cost-benefit would make it worth it.

For larger space-stations, both approaches are probably worth it. Especially if you're talking about tourist hotels. The negative publicity for one catestrophic failure could well justify the additional cost of added protection.

My guess though is that we'll probably need a few Titanic-type failures before things are really worked out.

Really cool but . . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19477801)

By using Grubb's catalyst, you would need nearly all of the worlds Ruthenium to do anything with these materials on scale. Jeff Moore has been working on things like this for a while, really neat work.

So (1)

Zero_DgZ (1047348) | more than 7 years ago | (#19478195)

Where is my damn robot battle maid already?

Fake body parts (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 7 years ago | (#19478325)

Couple it with the fake blood, couple of variable-speed servos and you can have your very own android.

Link to the researchers' site (3, Informative)

ajdecon (233641) | more than 7 years ago | (#19478623)

...with more information, pictures, and a little video. Oh! And a link to a PDF of the actual article.

http://www.mvac.uiuc.edu/network.html [uiuc.edu]

Just pick a new one (1)

tsobo (828580) | more than 7 years ago | (#19478943)

If your "Plastic" skin is damaged, wouldn't it be easier to just switch to a different skin, like "Sky Blue" or "Metal"?

Darkman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19479131)

I think Darkman [imdb.com] would really have appreciated this

I want to coat my car with this stuff! (1)

Fry-kun (619632) | more than 7 years ago | (#19479167)

If they ever make this plastic regenerate its shape as well as structural integrity (*snicker*), I'll want to use one to coat my car with it. All those little dings and scratches - wouldn't it be wonderful if your car could heal itself and always look brand new? :)

TUBGIRL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19479699)

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Dicyclopentadiene... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19480571)

Stable at room temperature, but may form explosive peroxides if stored in contact with air. Incompatible with oxidizing agents. Decomposes on heating. Flammable. Mixtures of the vapour with air are explosive.

dicyclopentadiene MSDS [ox.ac.uk]


This is a nifty idea, and all, but... I don't think that it's appropriate for terrestrial applications where there might be... air, and... fire involved in the damaging of the material.
The catalyst should help make the monomer cure/polymerize quickly but, by it's very nature (micro-vascular structure holding monomer in reserve), there's a fair amount of very flammable material close to the surface of the material. Also, with a melting point of ~32.5 C (and a flash point of 32; you get some sublimation before you get flow), you're not going to get a lot of flow in e.g. the cold environment of space.
I would call this a step, rather than a solution. Of course, finding a good monomer for an application like this, which is not reactive could be like trying to find a bucket of dry water.

i don't want to sound bitter, but.. (1)

rubberbandball (1076739) | more than 7 years ago | (#19480601)

just another piece of equipment that our troops in the field won't ever have. are huzzahs still in order?

Fa6or(z (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19480807)

to thE original core team. Th3y log on Then the

What repairs the repairers? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 7 years ago | (#19481587)

What repairs the capillary vessels when they are damaged?

Re:What repairs the repairers? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#19483015)

What kind of damage to the vascular system are you thinking about?

Re:What repairs the repairers? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 7 years ago | (#19483375)

Any kind of a "deep" or extensive wound, that would damage the vascular system itself as much or more than the surface "skin". Well, heck, I suppose that wouldn't be so much different than biological systems, because that sort of injury is often fatal barring major intervention, right? Think of a burn patient, maybe... without massive skin grafts and anti-rejection drugs and steps to prevent infection during all of that, he'd be a goner otherwise. Maybe this polymer analogy really doesn't fall very short of human skin after all. Skin is limited, too.

Re:What repairs the repairers? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#19485541)

Right, I think this is for abrasion and surface cracking, not structural damage.

Can someone who can apply tags... (1)

janus_games (1114671) | more than 7 years ago | (#19481711)

Submit the following tags:

Bionics
Biomimetics

In case you're curious...
Bionics - Application of biological principles to the study and design of engineering systems, especially electronic.

Biomimetics - The development of synthetic systems based on information from biological systems

Figures that the article that would get me to finally break down and get a /. account would be one that fails to omit the branch of science which provided the answers

(It's also the one I'm getting my degree in, so I'm biased).

Self-healing skin!! (1)

madbawa (929673) | more than 7 years ago | (#19486275)

Wow, now I can 'spank the monkeys' without worrying about friction burns on my wee-willy-winky.

Birth Control? (1)

Pikoro (844299) | more than 7 years ago | (#19487319)

I'm suprised noone brought up self healing condoms or cervical caps...

Seen this before.. (1)

docwatson223 (986360) | more than 7 years ago | (#19488857)

"Sarah Connor?"
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