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NASA Has Invented A Terminator-like Self-healing Material

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At this rate we might as well stop reading the press releases and just start writing up sci-fi scripts as news.

A team of scientists from NASA's Langley Research Center have invented a material that can 'self-heal' (or if that terminology freaks you out, 'repair' itself) after suffering impact from flying debris or extreme temperatures.

The material, which behaves in a manner similar to that of the T-1000 of Terminator 2, has been designed for use in aircraft and spaceships - both prone to scenarios which could see fast-travelling tiny objects puncture and damage key structures. 

NASA has likened the material to functioning in a similar way to the human body: the clever resin (a thiol–ene–trialkylborane resin, if you're interested) sits between two layers of solid polymer panels. Should a high velocity object puncture the structure, the speed and heat of the object will cause the resin to solidify - much like a self-cauterising wound.

The above video shows the repairing material being shot by a bullet, before quickly plugging the gap. 

"As the bullet goes in it actually raises the temperature around the region," NASA scientist Mia Siochi explained in a video demonstration. "It was gratifying to see as we actually test this material on the field it actually works."

Self-repairing materials have been under development by groups such as NASA for several years - but this latest effort could well help save the lives of astronauts in years to come. 

Let's just have a good long think before we start adding it to any robotics systems, okay?

[Via: TechCrunch]

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