“Terminator” Plastic Polymer Can Heal Itself

Bill Weir, Andrew Lampard, David Miller, Brian Fudge
This Could Be Big
“Terminator” Plastic Polymer Can Heal Itself

What if any plastic object you owned could heal itself if cracked or broken into two parts? No more emergency tire changes or water pipe fiascos; those pesky scenarios would resolve themselves.

That day may not be too far off now that scientists have created a plastic polymer that can do just that. Created by a research team lead by Ibon Odriozola at the CIDETEC Center for Electrochemical Technologies in San Sebastian, Spain, this plastic polymer shares the same regenerative traits as human skin.

When cut in half, the plastic will naturally congeal after two hours at room temperature without an outside catalyst. The team even nicknamed the plastic “Terminator” after the T-1000 that heals itself in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.”

Watch the video to see for yourself. After slicing the plastic, Odriozola placed the parts together and left the room. Within two hours, the plastic had gelled together; no amount of pulling could tear it in half again.

In a Skype interview with ABC News, Odriozola stressed that the technology is still in its infancy. That said, he already envisions several practical uses for it in adhesives and sealants. That may sound trivial, but it could add up to a lot of time and money saved for homeowners and industrial workers alike.