NASA's Terminator-Style Artificial Skin Self-Heals from a Bullet Wound in Less than a Second

Monday, 31 August 2015 - 12:43PM
Technology
Space
Monday, 31 August 2015 - 12:43PM
NASA's Terminator-Style Artificial Skin Self-Heals from a Bullet Wound in Less than a Second
Self-healing plastics, like the ones presumably used on the T-1000 in the second Terminator film, are now a reality, as NASA has discovered a material that can instantly repair itself when punctured by a bullet.



The material consists of two layers of a solid polymer, with a liquid sandwiched in between. Where a normal liquid would simply leak out of the puncture, the researchers added a compound called formulated resin, which is reactive to oxygen. When the liquid is exposed to atmospheric oxygen following a puncture, it immediately initiates polymerization and becomes solid.

"Within seconds of coming into contact with the atmosphere, it goes from a liquid to a solid," Scott Zavada, lead author of the study, told IFLScience.

But since this is NASA we're talking about, rather than Skynet, there are no plans to use this material to create a real-life Terminator (that we know of). Instead, they plan to use this material to cover spaceships, in order to protect astronauts against accidents that puncture the spacecraft and expose them to the deadly conditions of outer space. Although there's no oxygen in space, oxygen would leak out of the spacecraft through the hole, reacting with the liquid and immediately repairing the opening.

The material will be especially suited for use in spacecrafts as a result of its lightness. In this study, the panels were only one millimeter thick, but the researchers claim that the structure would allow for panels that were hundreds of microns thin.
Science
NASA
Technology
Space

Load Comments