Corn-Based Lacquer Heals Scratches When Heated

It is really a heartbreaking instance to see some scratches and dents on your favorite Car. Nonetheless, all these incidents are inevitable. In such cases, we can only plan for remedies than prevention. So, how do go about them?

The usual remedies carried out by the agencies or Mechanics are all temporary as they do not last long. A new corn-based transparent finish can prove to be really helpful, as its scratches heal up when subjected to heat.

Developed by scientists at Germany’s Leibniz Institute for New Materials, working with colleagues at Saarland University, the “Nanomer” lacquer integrates ring-shaped molecules known as cyclodextrins.

These are derived from corn starch. They are threaded like pearls onto long-chain polymer molecules. The cyclodextrins can then travel spontaneously along the length of those chains, but are kept from falling off the ends by large “stopper” molecules. All of the cyclodextrin-loaded long-chain polymer molecules are actually cross-linked to one another, via a chemical reaction.

The outcome of this experiment is a springy, elastic polymer network. When that network is heated, the cyclodextrin rings slide along their chains, resulting in closing any gaps that must have been produced by scratches.

Initially, the healing time took many hours. By adding ingredients such as inorganic nanoparticles, however, the scientists could reduce the time only a minute at a temperature of 100 ºC (212 ºF).

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