Australian scientists have created self-healing rubber, which in the future can be used to create large objects, including from car tires. The results of the study are described in the journal Chemical Science.
New rubber material made from cheap and abundant industrial waste such as sulfur, rapeseed oil, and dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) obtained from petroleum refining can be completely restored to its original strength in a few minutes – even at room temperature – using amine catalyst.
The amine catalyst used to start the reaction, which leads to self-healing of the rubber, in some cases occurs within minutes, and all this is done at room temperature, scientists say.
Scientists note that today a huge amount of rubber is thrown away, since they are not recyclable. In Australia alone, 48 million tires annually reach the end of their service life, of which 16% is recycled and the rest end up in landfills. In addition, each tire for a passenger car contains approximately 1.5 kg of steel, 0.5 kg of textile, and 7 kg of rubber.
“This study reveals a new concept for the repair, adhesion, and recycling of environmentally friendly rubber”.
A new type of rubber is an innovative rubber that can bond to itself after the application of amine catalysts. At the same time, such a polymer is resistant to water and corrosion, and rubber bricks are stronger than ordinary ones.