Motorola and the phone that mends itself

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Here is another dispatch from Barry Fox of the New Scientist who has been keeping tabs on the latest innovations from Motorola as filed away in the UK Patents Office.

If you drop your phone or PDA, and the plastics casing cracks, no matter. Another new Motorola patent tells how it can self-mend . The casing is moulded from polymer, with two extra additives, like the two components of DIY resin adhesive. One component is powdery, evenly distributed through the polymer. The other component is polymerisable goo, sealed in very small capsules which are also evenly distributed. When the casing cracks the shearing action breaks open some of the capsules to release their goo, which mixes with the powder and hardens. So the crack is bonded almost as soon as it opens up.

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