At an exhibition held in Athens during the Industrial Technologies 2014 international conference, the IK4-CIDETEC technology centre presented the self-repairing material it has developed for the European SHINE project.
The material presented by IK4-CIDETEC is a polymer capable of self-repairing at room temperature without the need for any catalyst or external stimulus. After being cut in half, the material is able to regenerate itself in just two hours, fully recovering its mechanical properties.
This new polymer is based on a poly(urea-urethane) type composition. Consequently, and because it can easily be scaled up, this development is expected to be applied industrially in the short term. Its discovery opens up a wide range of industrial applications in the use of plastic components, in both the electrical and automotive sectors, as well as in housing construction and in the preparation of biomaterials.
The material, whose development was reported by the Materials Horizons journal of the British Royal Society of Chemistry, has been developed within the framework of the European SHINE project, in which IK4-CIDETEC participates within a consortium of several European companies, centres and universities.
The technology centre, a research alliance, intends to continue working in the field of self-repairing materials, with the goal of achieving harder materials by incorporating reinforcements or other technologies.