SCOTT WHITE / UIUC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCOTT WHITE / UIUC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Self-healing plastic. Light micrograph of microcapsules (red circles) released from a self- repairing plastic. Some of them have repaired a crack (solid red area) in the plastic. The plastic could be used in spacecraft or surgical implants that would otherwise be hard to repair. It is a polymer composite made of reinforcing fibres and microcapsule-containing epoxy resin. Damage to the plastic ruptures the microcapsules, causing the repair fluid they hold to leak out. A catalyst (black dots) in the resin converts the fluid into a tough solid polymer. The plastic was made by a team from the University of Illinois, USA, led by Scott White. Magnification: x30 at 5x7cm size.
Model release not required. Property release not required.