You are late for an appointment and park in the first available spot that you can find, only to return to find scratches on your car.
Many of us have wondered that if the automobile industry can come up with ingenious inventions for car interiors such as Bluetooth stereo systems, climate control, satellite navigation and cruise control devices, then why not something for the exterior as well?
Well, the wait might not have to be much longer. Teams of scientists working in different parts of the world ranging from Michigan to Mississippi are working on ‘self-healing’ or ‘self-cleaning’ paints.
While scientists in Detroit have developed a paint which uses natural light to break down pollutants that attach themselves to your car’s paint to keep it clean, the University of Mississippi team is using chitosan – a complex carbohydrate which is found in the exoskeletons of crustaceans such as crabs and lobsters. When sunlight falls on it, it causes the scratched (damaged) chips of the paint to come together to ‘heal’ the scar. This process does not depend on the humidity or temperature, and only requires direct sunlight; the time required for the ‘healing’ to take effect is an estimated 30 minutes. Continue reading