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Web Date: September 22, 2016

Plastics shine bright to warn of invisible cracks

Damage to polymers ruptures microcapsules, releasing fluorescent molecules
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Analytical SCENE, Materials SCENE
Keywords: polymers, damage detection, structural monitoring, crack detection, self-healing material, microcapsules, fluorescent molecules, plastics, composites

Microscopic chinks in a material can spread and grow into larger fissures—ones that can split apart the plastics and composites used in airplanes, spacecraft, electronics, sports equipment, and pipes. A new, simple technique uses embedded microcapsules to reveal tiny, invisible cracks in a wide variety of plastics by making the cracks glow (ACS Cent. Sci. 2016, DOI: 10.1021/acscentsci.6b00198). Such an early warning strategy . . .

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Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
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