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New self-repairing rubber does not require vulcanization

According to a report in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, scientists have developed a new tire-grade rubber that does not require vulcanization. The new rubber, though unproven as yet in real world conditions, has the potential to repair itself over time.

Using a new simple process that avoids vulcanization altogether, the researchers chemically modified commercial rubber into a durable, elastic material that can fix itself over time. Testing showed that a cut in the material healed at room temperature, a property that could allow a tire to mend itself while parked. And after 8 days, the rubber could withstand a stress of 754 pounds per square inch. Heating it to 212 degrees Fahrenheit for the first 10 minutes accelerated the repair process. The researchers say their product could be further strengthened by adding reinforcing agents such as silica or carbon black.
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