A group of scientists working at the Spanish CIDETEC Center for Electrochemical Technologies has created a plastic that, if you cut it in half, can merge the two pieces back together into one. Watch it happen:
In nature, many polymers heal themselves when broken or sliced. Think of your skin when you have a small cut — as the two sides of the cut bind back together, you’re witnessing a self-healing polymer in action …
As much as synthetic polymers mimic natural polymers, they’ve always lacked one important feature, the ability to heal themselves — until now.
The scientists call this thing the “Terminator” polymer after the resilient T-100 in Terminator 2. What it means to us is that, to the extent people are going to keep using plastic, they won’t have to throw it away as much, if it can be patched up with this technology — or rather, patch itself up, without any human intervention.