Scientists at the University of Tokyo (Japan) said they have developed a new type of plastic material called VPR with the advantages of being durable, elastic, self-healing and partially biodegradable.
They estimate that VPR could “defeat” many types of industrial plastics used today, as well as solve many pressing global environmental problems.
VPR vitrimer is made through the combination of epoxy resins and polyrotaxane molecules.
According to the study’s lead author – Associate Professor Shota Ando – vitrimer plastic in general is quite brittle, especially at room temperature. Therefore, the research team sought to add polyrotaxane to optimize performance.
As a result, the group created a new type of plastic VPR that is 5 times more durable than ordinary vitrimer plastic.
This type of plastic also has the ability to heal itself. In case of scratches, the “wound” itself can be patched by heating the plastic to a temperature of 150 degrees Celsius.heyC.
The healing process is completed in just 60 seconds, which is 15 times faster than some existing self-healing materials. Self-healing ability helps ensure the durability of the material and reduces waste for users.
According to Associate Professor Shota Ando, the new material can still remember its shape. For example, if a piece of plastic is heated, cooled, and then flattened, it may bend back to its original shape immediately after heating.
According to Mr Ando, VPR plastic also has a low impact if released into the environment. Experiments show that if a piece of VPR plastic is soaked in seawater for 30 days, the plastic piece will biodegrade by 25%. The molecules released are not harmful to marine life.
With such a number of advantages, the new material promises to be used in a wide range of sectors from household to industrial products while reducing its impact on the environment.
(TagstoTranslate)Plastic(T)Degradable(T)Self-Healing(T)Self-Healing Material(T)New Plastic(T)New Material(T)VPR Plastic