Researchers from the Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Tokyo have created a new material that can fuse itself together automatically and conduct electricity. The new composite material with the catchy name MWCNTs-PBS, takes the form of a multi-walled carbon nanotubes structure surrounded by a flexible polymer polyborosiloxane outer. When to pieces are pushed together they form an electrical and mechanical bond which can be seen demonstrated in the video below.
“Living things in nature have long been utilizing the ability to “heal” their wounds on the soft bodies to survive in the outer environment. In order to impart this self-healing property to our daily life interface, we propose Self-healing UI, a soft-bodied interface that can intrinsically self-heal damages without external stimuli or glue. The key material to achieving Self-healing UI is MWCNTs-PBS, a composite material of a self-healing polymer polyborosiloxane (PBS) and a filler material multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), which retains mechanical and electrical self-healability.”
“We developed a hybrid model that combines PBS, MWCNTs-PBS, and other common soft materials including fabric and silicone to build interface devices with self-healing, sensing, and actuation capability. These devices were implemented by layer-by-layer stacking fabrication without glue or any post-processing, by leveraging the materials’ inherent self-healing property between two layers. We then demonstrated sensing primitives and interactive applications that extend the design space of shape-changing interfaces with their ability to transform, con- form, reconfigure, heal, and fuse, which we believe can enrich the toolbox of human-computer interaction (HCI).”
Source: ACM : AB