Scientists from Switzerland’s ETH Zurich have discovered an anti-corrosive polymer that possesses properties enabling it to diagnose and self-heal.

The material, dubbed poly (phenylene methylene) (PPM), can reportedly be sprayed onto surfaces, solidifying when combined with paint and heat.

Source: ETH ZurichSource: ETH Zurich

According to the ETH Zurich team, the polymer will demonstrate when holes and cracks are present in the protective layer by not fluorescing and will self-heal without additional external interventions.

Further, at the end of the PPM lifecycle, it can be separated, recycled and then applied to other surfaces without losing its properties and functions.

In the lab, the PPM was found to be highly effective on metals — particularly aluminum. As such, the team suggests that the coating material could be used anywhere metal is used and corrosion is an issue — for instance on skyscrapers, bridges, ships, airplanes and cars.

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