JERRY MASON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JERRY MASON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Self-disassembling mobile phone components being heated on an infrared conveyor belt. The components contain shape memory polymers (SMPs), plastics which change their shape when heated to a trigger temperature, causing them to break apart. Researchers at Brunel University, UK, are using SMPs to build electronic devices that disassemble at the end of their lifetime. The technique, known as Active Disassembly using Smart Materials (ADSM), will speed recycling, allowing retrieval of valuable components and materials and disposal of toxic chemicals. The trigger temperatures of components will vary, allowing disassembly in controlled stages. Photographed in 2002.
Model release not required. Property release not required.