Saturday, March 7, 2009

Automatic Scratch Recovery under Sunlight Using Polyurethane

Your car got a scratch without your knowledge? Don’t worry scientists have came with an ultimate solution for your dream car and the scratch will be gone within an hour. The polyurethane is nothing but a new macromolecule and it has been applied to various applications. The damaged polymer is capable of repairing itself when it has been exposed to sunlight. The new coating of polymer applied is nearly 100 percent standard polyurethane, usually a material found in a wide range of products, including hard plastic and soft foams. The remaining 0.01 percent is either a four-molecule oxetane ring or a long rod of chitosan. Chitosan is closely related to chitin, the tough material found in the shells of lobsters and crabs. If the polyurethane is damaged then a ring of oxetane is also ripped open. Breaking the surface of the polyurethane also allows ultraviolet light to enter the scratch, which breaks apart a rod of chitosan. The broken chitosan rods and oxetane rings then bond with each other across the damaged area, dragging the two sides together to eliminate the scratch. If the polyurethane coating is left in the sun, a scratch heals itself in an hour. According to scientists the reaction only takes place when the surface is damaged, and that it should be should be able to repair most scratches indefinitely all the time.

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