Smartphones with self-healing glass in the making

Published on December 19, 2017

Smartphones are quite sensitive, and most will agree with this. An electronic gadget that is made out of a mixture of glass and metal. Who would say that it isn’t easy to break? Smartphone service centers offer the facility of replacing or repairing broken smartphones at a very high cost. What if there was a way that you wouldn’t have to spend a lot of money and your cracked phone would fix itself automatically?

According to a report by Slash Gear, researchers from the University of Tokyo have come with a new glass solution that self-heals automatically. The glass can repair its cracks at room temperature if the smartphone user applies just the right amount of pressure. The lens is designed in such a manner that the right amount of squeeze can mend the cracks easily. The glass is manufactured using polyether-thioureas material and is still awaiting approval for whether it can be commercialized. Graduate student at the University of Tokyo, Yu Yanagisawa came across the polyether-thioureas property when he was trying to develop a type of glue. He was able to create the kind of glass that adhere severe cracks and cuts and was able to self-heal.

YU experimented with the glass and discovered that just by pressing the edges for over thirty seconds at a room temperature of 21 degrees, mended the small cracks that appeared. It took a considerably longer time for the glass to restore. However, after several attempts, the glass began taking a lesser amount of time. One of the efforts didn’t even require the application of intense heat. It is not sure whether this material will be made available for commercial use. If it does end up showing up at commercial markets, then it could potentially boost the sustainability of smartphones.

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