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RUSSE Self-Healing Plastic Works Underwater

A nifty new kind of plastic called Rapid Underwater Self-healing Stiff Elastomer (RUSSE) can heal itself even underwater - maybe good for future pipelines?

Lili Chen at Tsinghua University in China and her colleagues developed this material, called Rapid Underwater Self-healing Stiff Elastomer (RUSSE) because most self-healing polymers don’t work very well under water. “Room temperature self-healing polymers generally have a poor underwater stability, low healing strength and a slow healing process,” says Chen.

RUSSE is made of small chunks of a type of soft polymer used in some paints connected by nanometre-sized chains of a tougher polymer. The researchers tested the material’s properties by stretching it, cutting it and bashing it with a hammer.

Sounds like a job for the self-sealing plastic described by Golden Age science fiction writer Raymond Z. Gallun in his 1951 classic Asteroid of Fear:

It even had an inter-skin layer of gum that could seal the punctures that grain-of-sand-sized meteors might make.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/13/2021)

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