Self-healing phone screens fix cracks within minutes

Fumbling your smartphone and seeing it crash towards the ground is an expensive slip which often leads to a shattered screen and a pricey repair bill.Tech firms have, as a result, ploughed millions into developing tougher screen and protective cases but have failed to eradicate the curse of the smashed screen +

South Korean researchers now believe they have made a game-changing breakthrough thanks to a research project which embeds linseed oil in the screen in the form of microcapsules to repair cracks when they appear.In laboratory tests the researchers proved that when the integrity of the screen is jeopardised the transparent linseed oil is released and proceeds to harden in the newly-made fissures, repairing any damage.

This process recifies the damage to the screen and can fix 95 per cent of all cracks within 20 minutes, the researchers claim.Dr Yong-Chae Jung, head of the center at Institute of Advanced Composites Materials at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), led the study.

The study, published in the journal Composite Part B: Engineering, shows how the material was made and how effective it was.It is called a polymer bilayer film (PBF) which is a sandwich of two layers stuck together to form a single material.

The top layer involves the linseed oil capsules whereas the bottom layer is the ubiquitous glass-like material used in phones, tablets and other gadgets called CPI.

CPI is a transparent plastic which is strong, flexible and conducts electricity and is used not only in entertainment devices but also in solar panels.

The combination of these two layers has thus far only been tested in a laboratory but the researchers write that it could ‘eventually be widely used in outdoor applications’.

The researchers are not the first or only people to try and fix the problem of smashed screens, with tech giant Apple also turned its expertise to the issue.

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