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The Future Is Here, Your Phone Can heal it Smashed Screen


Is this the end of the smashed phone screen? Self-healing glass discovered by accident by Japanese Researchers.


The good news for phone users is that the New type of polymer glass that can mend itself when pressed together is already l in development by University of Tokyo after a student discovered it.

Glass made from a low weight polymer referred to as “polyether-thioureas” will heal breaks once pressed together by hand without the need for top heat to soften the material.

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The research, published in Science, by researchers led by prof Takuzo Aida from the University of Tokyo, guarantees healable glass that would potentially be utilized in phone screens and alternative or other fragile devices, which they say are an important challenge for sustainable societies.

While self-healing rubber and plastics have already been developed, the researchers saidthat the new material was the firsthard substance of its kind that canbe healed at room temperature.

“High mechanical hardiness and healing ability tend to be mutually exclusive,” wrote the researchers, saying that while some hard butbut healable materials are being developed, “in most cases, heating to high temperatures, on the order of 120°C or more, to reorganise their cross-linked networks, is critical for the broken parts to repair.”

The new polymer glass is “highly strong mechanically nevertheless will without delay be repaired by compression at broken surfaces”.

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smashed screens

The properties of the polyether-thioureas glass were discovered accidentally by graduate school student Yu Yanagisawa, who was preparing the material as a glue. Yanagisawa found that once the surface of the polymer was cut the sides would adhere to each other, healing to create a powerful sheet when being manually compressed for 30 seconds at 21°C.

smashed screens


Further experimentation found that the healed material regained its original strength after a few of hours.

Yanagisawa told NHK that he didn’t believe the results initially and repeated his experiments multiple times to verify the finding. He said: “I hope the repairable glass becomes a new environment-friendly material that avoids the need to be thrown away if broken.”

This is not the first time a polymer has been recommended as a healable screen for devices similar to smartphones. Researchers at the University of California proposed the utilization of polymer that might stretch to  its original size and heal breaks inside 24 hours.

Smartphone manufacturers have already used self-healing materials in devices. LG’s G Flex 2 shipped in 2015 with a coating on its back that was capable of healing minor scratches over time, though it failed to fully repair heavier damage.


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