Design diversification: BMW DesignworksUSA, Porsche Design and Mercedes have all expanded their initially auto-based design talents into other sectors, and now Nissan is taking steps in this direction. The number two Japanese automaker has developed a self-healing material for their 370Z, Murano and X-Trail vehicles that they feel would lend itself well to a certain popular consumer product.
Nissan's Scratch Shield iPhone Case is made from a proprietary blend of ABS plastic and polyrotaxane paint that heals itself, depending on the severity of the scratch, in hours or days:
The Nissan Scratch Shield iPhone case has been designed using several automotive engineering innovations to deliver a more durable and long-lasting paint coat, and closely fitting, tight case. The case has three key benefits: the highly flexible and elastic properties of Scratch Shield paint technology allows fine scratches to quickly mend themselves*; its tactile gel-like rather than glossy surface is more scratch-resistant than conventional paint and provides a better grip; and the case itself is made of ABS plastic - a high grade substance widely used in the automotive industry which is more rigid and robust than other plastics. The outer 'paint' is made from polyrotaxane, which means that when damage occurs to the coating in the form of a fine scratch, the chemical structure is able to react to change back to its original shape and fill the gap - 'healing' the blemish.
*Scratch Shield can heal small scratches in as little as an hour, but more severe cases can take up to a week's time to heal.
If beta-testing of the currently-being-prototyped case works out well, Nissan expects to begin selling the product later this year.