Marie Donlon | July 16, 2022

A team of researchers from the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology has created a new self-healing coating that repairs scratches on car surfaces via sunlight.

Hindered urea — a dynamic covalent bond — was added to standard coating materials, thereby converting the chemical properties of the coating and making high molecular components repeat bonding and de-bonding processes. To further develop the coating, the researchers then mixed the coating material with transparent photothermal dye, which converts light energy to heat energy.

Source: Korea Research Institute of Chemical TechnologySource: Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology

When exposed to high temperatures produced by sunlight, the coating will repair scratches on surfaces due to chemical movements, according to the researchers.

To make this determination, the researchers applied the coating to vehicles with scratched surfaces in a series of trials. When the vehicles were exposed to sunlight, the coating reportedly healed the scratches on the vehicle’s surface within half an hour. Meanwhile, the self-healing process was expedited to just 30 seconds when the researchers used a magnifying glass on the coating.