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Durable self-healing plastic

Polymers containing microencapsulated healing agents have been a focal point of self-healing materials over the past decade. But in the latest issue of Polymer, Ming Qiu Zhang and his team have taken this approach one a step further. They report, for the first time, on the use of “click chemistry” to produce a PVC-composite that automatically self-heals in response to mechanical damage. Rather than referring to a single reaction, click chemistry is the name given to a range of highly-efficient chemical processes that generate products by joining small units together. And they do this quickly, at ambient temperature and in atmospheric conditions.

 

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