Science

Printable Ink Self-Heals After Being Cut

Self healing ink

Distressed jeans could be just one of the things scientists will put an end to with self-healing materials. These revolutionary materials usually have a substance inside that fills up cracks, but UC San Diego engineers have created something better. Their innovation withstands cuts #todaymagic

The team started from printable ink to which they added micro particles of neodymium. Now, if chemistry and physics isn’t your strong suit, neodymium means nothing to you. Well, this is a metal with magnetic properties providing the key to their concept. They also used carbon black for conductivity.

The final result was a printed strip of ink that, if cut, “glues” back together thanks to the magnetic property. The two pieces of material attract each other when one’s north pole points in the direction of the other’s south pole. Now, they won’t form a permanent connection but the big perk here is that the healing happens immediately. Think how much this would benefit wearables and flexible displays, that are easily broken by users.

Scientists’ ambition is to soon find a way to create a self-healing battery. Wouldn’t that be something?

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