Self-healing glass may mean the end of broken phone screens

Ever dropped your phone and still have cracks in the glass because repairing can be expensive? You’re certainly not the first, but you might be the last! Researchers from the University of Tokyo developed a new type of glass that can heal itself from cracks and breaks. And like any good invention, the material was discovered by accident.

The new material is a lightweight polymer called polyether thiousreas, and it can heal itself when broken if it is pressed together by hand without the need for high temperatures to melt the material.

The properties of the glass were discovered by accident by graduate school student Yu Yanagisawa, who was preparing the material as a glue. Yanagiswa fund that when the surface of the polymer was cut, the edges would adhere toe ach other when manually compressed for 30 seconds at 21 degrees Celsius. Further testing proved that the material regained its original strength after a couple of hours after being healed.

The self-healing glass could potentially be used in phone screens and other fragile devices.

For other self-healing materials, click here.