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WATCH: Self-healing textile discovered by scientists

/ 04:47 PM August 13, 2016

Stitching torn trousers may soon become a thing of the past as scientists have discovered a way to make textile “heal” itself by just adding water.

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The research team from Penn State utilized liquefied squid teeth protein to coat wool, cotton and other fabrics. When torn, the edges need only be put together, then applied with warm water to allow the fabric to “heal,” reports Engadget. This leaves the healed fabric as strong and flexible as before.

Penn State Professor Melik C. Demirel said, “We were looking for a way to make fabrics self-healing using conventional textiles. So we came up with this coating technology.”

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The “healing” proteins can be applied to threads before materials are made or used to fix regular non-coated fabrics by just adding water. While the technology seems miraculous, the end result will still have some noticeable repair mark similar to the seams after a patch-up job. Either way, small tears in garments can be repaired by simply throwing them in the laundry and let the water heal the fabric while making it clean at the same time.

Apart from consumer clothing, this technology can also be used to create clothing that protects soldiers and industrial workers.

The next step for the team is to create the healing proteins without using squid teeth and to further torture-test the healed fabrics for durability.  Alfred Bayle

TOPICS: just add water, protective clothing, self-healing textile, squid teeth
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