Scientists have witnessed something extraordinary. According to new reports and research, scientists watched healing metal, where cracked metal fused back together without any kind of human intervention. The discovery is one that could completely change how machines work, because machines are often victims of what we call fatigue damage.
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Fatigue damage is essentially one of the main ways that machines wear out, causing them to break over time. It is natural for machines to develop microscopic metal cracks when they are subjected to repeated motion and stress. Over time those cracks grow more, eventually spreading until the entire device breaks or fails.
The researchers say this discovery shows that metals are able to “heal themselves” when fatigue is present at nanoscale. For other, much larger cracks, the healing process may be unlikely or slow. It’s unclear.
The researchers observed a very small fissure healing, but it was not unimportant. The fissure was nanometer-sized, and therefore not easily visible. It’s still exciting to see a metal crack heal on its own. The possibilities for future research could be endless.
Scientists have created some self-healing items in the past, mostly plastic-based items. The idea of metal that can heal itself is more science fiction. The theory that metal could heal itself isn’t new, either.
In 2013, an assistant professor at MIT published a theory based on computer simulations that described the healing of metal under certain conditions. Now, seeing it happen for themselves, these scientists have finally proven that healing metal is possible and that metal does it naturally. This discovery could lead to further improvements in the future.
The researchers say that they are hopeful it will lead more researchers to consider that materials can do things we didn’t expect.
The post Scientists watched cracked metal heal itself in an ‘absolutely stunning’ discovery appeared first on BGR.