Now, a mobile screen that fixes cracks within 20 minutes

Seoul - South Korean researchers use linseed oil to create material that can self-repair damage to screen

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Published: Mon 28 Dec 2020, 3:11 PM

Last updated: Mon 28 Dec 2020, 3:14 PM

Smartphones come for a price, and most users are known to splurge thousands on top brands. However, no matter how careful you are with your phone, it’s a common sight to see a handset slip out of one’s hand or purse resulting in a smashed screen.

Repairing a shattered screen can be expensive, but now, after extensive experiments, South Korean researchers have made a breakthrough that can make broken screens a thing of the past.

In laboratory tests, researchers proved that when a screen is broken, transparent linseed oil can be used to any damage.

The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) said that the collaborative research team led by Dr Yong-Chae Jung and Hak-soo Han from Yonsei University was able to develop a self-healing colourless electronic material that can self-repair cracks or damaged functions occurred on the material.

In the material developed by the team, the microcapsules break when mechanical damage occurs, then, the linseed oil leaks out and flows to the damaged area to become hardened, thereby healing the damaged area.

Such self-healing capability has the advantage of being able to heal local damages.

Other materials with self-repairing capabilities developed so far could only be implemented with soft materials and repaired only by applying high-temperature heat to the materials.

On the other hand, the material developed through this research is capable of self-healing even though it is implemented with a hard material, and it can be self-healed at room temperature without requiring high-temperature heat.

Additionally, it offers the advantage of accelerating the healing process by reacting with humidity and UV, in turn, over 95 per cent damage recovery has been achieved within a short time of just 20 minutes.

Colourless polyimide (CPI) has outstanding mechanical, electrical and chemical properties. It features transparency like glass along with strong tensile strength and does not encounter scratches even after folding hundreds of thousands of times.

Thus, it is widely commercialised and used in mobile products such as foldable and flexible displays and is also popularly used throughout the overall industry such as aerospace and PV cells.

As such, since CPI is a material widely used in various industries, constant efforts are made to secure durability by addressing cracks that can occur from various exposure environments and breakages caused by continuous electromagnetic waves.

While several research teams attempted to address these issues by adding additives or coating a hard-protective layer on the surface, they were unable to successfully prevent damages to the underlying materials, the study, published in the journal Composite Part B: Engineering, reported.


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