Japanese researchers may have figured out how to make cracked smartphone screens whole again.
We’ve all been faced with a deep crack across the front of our gadget after accidentally dropping it.
But researchers may have developed a type of glass that could mean the end of cracked smartphone screens – because it HEALS itself.
According to research published in the journal Science , the team created glass from a low-weight polymer that is able to re-bind cracks when pushed together by hand.
This “healable” glass takes inspiration from similar repairing rubbers and plastics that have also been developed.
What’s more, the research team reckon they can get this new type of glass working at room temperature, and put it into future smartphones and tablets.
“High mechanical robustness and healing ability tend to be mutually exclusive,” wrote the researchers.
“In most cases, heating to high temperatures, on the order of 120°C or more, to reorganise their cross-linked networks, is necessary for the fractured portions to repair.”
But, in theory, this new glass could be pressed back together again just with the heat from your hands.
Graduate school student Yu Yanagisawa, created the new glass by accident while trying to make a type of glue.
“I hope the repairable glass becomes a new environment-friendly material that avoids the need to be thrown away if broken,” he told NHK News