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+ - New Polyurethane material to repair car scratches 1

Submitted by Cutting_Crew
Cutting_Crew (708624) writes "The next time someone keys you car or runs their shopping cart into your car bumper, not all is lost. If your car is coated with a new polyurethane-coating from the University of Southern Mississippi your car might be able to repair itself within one hour. A more detailed description of the research is available at the Ars Technica website and another similar article has hit the Scientific American .

Dr. Marek Urban , a professor and chemist of the Polymer Science Department, along with Biswajit Ghosh at the university, published the research and their findings in the March 13th edition of the journal Science.

A time lapse video of the process can be found here but also reveals a drawback:

"The material effectively forms an invisible "scar" when it repairs the scratch, so it can't be scratched in the same place twice. This could limit its usefulness for handheld devices such as cellphones, which often get scratched in the same places because of the way they're set down on surfaces or slid into pockets. But it's still a working solution for cars, since scratches don't usually occur in exactly the same patch on the vehicle's body."
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New Polyurethane material to repair car scratches

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  • Two questions not answered by the article:
    1. How much more does it cost than normal plastic components?
    2. How long does it take to degrade?

    I like plastic bodies because a scratch is now merely cosmetic; it doesn't lead to rusting out. They're also lighter and cheaper than ferrous body plates. All this does is save me from keeping around a few bucks worth of touch up paint (assuming I even care that much about a scratch), and if it costs even a little more than the current materials, or is any more suscepti

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