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Stretchable conductive wires heal themselves

March 1st, 2013 / By: / Industry News

Researchers at North Carolina State University are exploring ways to prevent the major shut-downs, accidents and safety risks that happen when someone, somewhere, snaps or cuts the wrong electrical wire. The elastic, self-healing wires have a commercially available polymer in which microfluidic channels are cut. The channels are filled with a liquid metal alloy of indium and gallium, which conducts electricity and flows to fill the polymer sheath when it is stretched. If the wire is severed, the liquid metal forms a skin to prevent it from leaking. Then, when the polymer re-forms molecular bonds to heal the sheath, the liquid metal reconnects.

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