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New material could be used to produce self-healing phone screens that will repair cracks

Posted: , by Alan F.

These days, the tools used to protect smartphone screens from cracking upon impact include Corning's Gorilla Glass (now up to its 5th generation) and the second generation Shattershield system used by Motorola on the Moto Z Force. In the near future, phone screens could be made from a new material created by chemists at the University of California at Riverside and the University of Colorado.

While this material is transparent, conductive and stretchable, the most important thing is that it has self-healing properties. If the screen cracks, it will repair itself. In one example, the material was ripped in half and stitched itself back together in less than 24 hours. Rubber-like and soft, it reportedly is cheap and easy to make, and stretches to 50-times its original size. With its ability to conduct electricity, the material can be used to produce a scratch resistant, self-healing smartphone screen.

One of the researchers behind the project, Chao Wang, says that we could see this material used in the production of smartphones "very soon." But there are still plenty of kinks to work out, and the team must test the material in harsh conditions like high humidity. Other self-healing polymers have been unable to survive such a test.

Wang says that his interest in self-healing came after reading Wolverine comics all of his life. The comic book super hero has the ability to self-heal. Speaking of self-healing, you might recall that the LG G Flex and LG G Flex 2 both launched with a back cover that could self heal minor scratches. Self-healing a cracked display is another matter.

"I’ve been researching making a self-healing lithium ion battery, so when you drop your cellphone, it could fix itself and last much longer."-Chao Wang, researcher

Those butterfingers who are always dropping their phone (you know know who you are) will be ecstatic once this material is ready for prime time. 

The self-healing material can stretch to 50 times its normal size

The self-healing material can stretch to 50 times its normal size

source: ScienceDaily, UniversityofCalifornia (Riverside) via NYPost

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posted on 05 Apr 2017, 17:46 2

1. LebronJamesFanboy (Posts: 554; Member since: 23 Mar 2013)

fukc yeah

posted on 05 Apr 2017, 20:00 8

6. Unordinary (Posts: 2327; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)

Don't get too excited. Find some archived article on PA from 2010 and you'll find the same ol' story.

posted on 06 Apr 2017, 23:22

10. Highside (Posts: 127; Member since: 31 Jan 2017)

If these stupid companies keep making glass shattering garbage, they better heal themselves.

posted on 05 Apr 2017, 18:03

2. yyuu1000 (Posts: 237; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)

Great the sooner it comes the better

posted on 05 Apr 2017, 18:08 1

3. kerginaldo17 (unregistered)

I do not know why, but I do not believe it.

posted on 05 Apr 2017, 18:24 5

4. gotoAndDie (Posts: 40; Member since: 13 Jun 2015)

Self-healing materials have always been a thing; the LG G Flex 2's back has some. It's just that now, the technology is being extended to phone screens as well.

posted on 05 Apr 2017, 18:52 2

5. yyuu1000 (Posts: 237; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)

original g flex had it too

posted on 05 Apr 2017, 22:56

8. Alter (Posts: 91; Member since: 25 Mar 2016)

Yeah I was hoping that would be used on more phones. I’m not into metal bodies and I like the self healing technology.

posted on 06 Apr 2017, 02:58

9. ibend (Posts: 6280; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

blurry slideshow picture + hypnotic background music + inspired from "wolverine" + end message "discover more at"
can't get more sketchy than that....

but G Flex already use self healing material for backplate cover, just matter of time till someone make optically clear version of it

posted on 05 Apr 2017, 20:18 1

7. SleeperOne (Posts: 360; Member since: 25 Feb 2017)

Gonna be a while, possibly 2019-2021 until this takes off... That's a wild guess, by the way...

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