Post-it notes were famously invented by a failed experiment to create a high-strength adhesive. Now another glue experiment gone wrong, this time in Japan, has yielded another potential hit product.
Yu Yanagisawa, a graduate student at the University of Tokyo, was trying to develop a new type of adhesive. Instead he accidentally created a low-weight polymer they're calling ""polyether-thioureas." When glass is made out of the stuff, Yanagisawa's research team discovered, if shattered, it can be healed by simply pressing the broken pieces back together with hand pressure.
According to The Guardian:
The research, published in Science, by researchers led by Professor Takuzo Aida from the University of Tokyo, promises healable glass that could potentially be used in phone screens and other fragile devices, which they say are an important challenge for sustainable societies.
While self-healing rubber and plastics have already been developed, the researchers said that the new material was the first hard substance of its kind that can be healed at room temperature.
There's a brief video demonstration below, but the narration is in Japanese with no subtitles.