Parking a car in the middle of the road can stop being a problem, at least as far as scratches are concerned. Material science develops new layers with which to protect the vehicle from high temperatures or use Sunlight to repair the functioning of the body itself Pollution caused by existing products used to repaint a damaged car can be avoided in minutes, avoiding unforeseen minor incidents.
[El prometedor material para estirar la vida del coche de combustión: reducirá emisiones un 90%]
Imagine that you have a nice scratch on one of the doors of your vehicle, which is next to that of the neighbor. now imagine that That scratch is gone when you get to your destination When you were driving, you were healed from the incidents of sunlight. It sounds like magic, but again, it’s science influencing the automotive industry and other tech sectors like the smartphone market.
Striving for years to acquire the science of vehicle safety materials Balance between efficiency, sustainability and transparencyWhile materials with free molecular motion stand out for their high self-repair efficiency, others stand out for their rigidity and resistance over time, but some still limp where others stand, and vice versa .
A new project from the Korea Chemical Technology Research Institute comes close to this harmonic combination. They have developed a coating for Self-heals damage with the application of sunlight And whose results largely meet all the conditions required by the industry. The research results have been published in the scientific journal ACS Applied Polymer Materials.
put it in the sun
Self-healing polymers have been an attraction for such use for a decade, but the scientific community has been reluctant to find the ideal formula for hardening. The closest thing to animal skin. That is to say, the scratches disappear on their own without the use of an aggressive external agent and the material is inexpensive and compatible with other products, such as paint, commonly applied to cars.
The project presented by the Korean team addresses this treatment, according to their indications. Comfortable, cheap and durable self-repairexplains Dr. Jin Chul Kim, Director of Research, KRICT Eurek Alert The developed technology uses inexpensive commercial polymer materials and photothermal dyes. “It is expected to be widely used not only in automotive clearcoats, but also in a variety of applications.”
To test the new mixture, the team sprayed a protectant on a lab-scale model car, leaving scratches on its part. After the scar disappears Exposure to afternoon sun only for 30 minutes.
How does this work?
The researchers added a network of polymers called a urea barrier. Polymers have dynamic chemical bonds that break in response to stimulation, then restore to its original dispositionThis is how scratches on the car body are repaired.
In this case, the stimulus that acts as a trigger to start the repair process is the heat caused by sunlight. This is obtained by adding A transparent organic photothermal dyeA variation of the inorganic material used in other projects that require more energy.
The dye allows the chemical bond to react Infrared light, a long-wavelength energy source that accounts for less than 10% of sunlight in the afternoon. The fact that the reaction does not require excessive energy consumption prevents the surface of the vehicle from overheating. Other materials rely on concentrated UV lamps or heat guns to repair the body.
quick and reusable
The team says their material outperforms other self-healing coatings by being faster and more effective. For example, half an hour of treatment performed in daylight can be accelerated, through the use of a magnifying glass, by applying focused light and reducing waiting times. only 30 seconds,
In addition to being fast, it Has the ability to repeatedly spawn in the same areaThey don’t indicate how long it stays active, but it’s a plus for users whose garage neighbors don’t know how to park and still get hits at the same spot. The repetition of this regeneration is not present in self-healing materials which use resin capsules which burst during the process and allow repair only in the damaged area.
Like most current coatings, the protective layer is applied by spraying and since it is transparent material, it does not affect the different paints and colors that each car manufacturer wants to use. The research team intends its materials to be used in transport, in manufacturing and in the manufacture of electronic equipment such as computers or telephones.
[El invento español para que los coches limpien de contaminación el aire mientras circulan]
In addition, these systems powered by natural energies such as sunlight should contribute Minimize the use of harmful organic solvents Due to which carbon is emitted into the atmosphere. Its current use in vehicles when repainting a car generates a large amount of pollution.