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article imageNASA develops material capable of healing its own bullet wounds

By Brian Booker     Sep 2, 2015 in Technology
NASA has developed a new polymer technology that is capable of healing puncture wounds, using a gel that hardens after coming into contact with oxygen.
NASA has developed a new material that can actually heal its own puncture wounds, including bullet wounds. In what might seem like a Terminator-esque development, researchers have found a way to create materials capable of self-repair. Such materials could have a wide range of uses in space exploration, military application, and industrial technologies.
The polymer material heals itself by using a gel, contained between the outer polymer layers, that would automatically be released after being punctured, and would then mix with oxygen to form a liquid that would eventually harden. The process of changing from liquid to solid state apparently takes only a matter of seconds.
The gel itself contains a gel material called tributylborane, which hardens when it comes into contact with oxygen. So if a spaceship was punctured by debris and started to leak oxygen, the tributylborane would be released and would automatically heal the puncture.
As of right now the material is only in the testing stage of development, however researchers are already touting its potential applications.
The development comes after years of NASA being in the cross-hairs for potential budget cuts. At a time when budgets are tight and public debts are piling up, many have come to question spending billions of dollars on programs like NASA. The agency, however, has long been one of the primary drivers of fundamental research, which in turn has led to numerous highly profitable industrial technologies.
Advanced technologies, like this space-age, self-healing polymer, prove that NASA still supports valuable, fundamental research.
More about NASA, Polymer technology, self healing materials
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