Self-Healing Plastic (Terra Futura)

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Self-Healing Plastic was a plastic that could self-heal. This was invented during the Iraq War.

(Note: The background section of this page uses most of the same words as the bioplastic page of Terra Futura to save time.)


Since the dawn of human history, only a small number of materials were appreciated for their distinct, colorful appearance. Ivory, tortoiseshell, and horn were capable of being turned into luxury items that bore a warmth and elegance that was hard to achieve with other materials. Then, in 1862, with advances in chemistry, the first plastic was made by treating cellulose with nitric acid. It was called Parkesine or Celluloid, and in the early 20th century, celluloid was used to draw pictures for animated films at companies like Disney, Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera, etc. Then, in 1907, Leo Baekeland invented Bakelite, the first ever synthetic material. After World War I, with advances in chemistry, new plastics were being created like polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride. This revolutionized society a whole lot. Then, in 1935, the first synthetic fiber called nylon was developed by Wallace Carothers, a chemist at DuPont. This would lead to a new era of synthetics that eventually brought about the creation of kevlar. There was one problem, though. All of these plastics were made of petroleum. They were not biodegradable. Therefore, these plastics were a problem for the environment. The solution was bioplastic. Scientists started making plastic out of natural materials like vegetable oil. They were engineered to be biodegradable to help the environment. The Ford Motor Company started using vegetable oil to make soft foam seats. Not only that, they also used bioplastic for hard surfaces like the dashboard. Other parts were made by harvesting wheat. By the third decade of the 21st century, bioplastics replaced conventional petroleum-based plastic in everything. Even so, plastic was now being made so that it could do anything. It could even self-heal.


Tech Level: 10

In 2004, in Iraq, the US Army had a problem. Insurgents were shooting the fuel tanks to leak fuel and set it on fire. A company called High Impact Technology created the first ever self-healing plastic created. It was in layers. Two layers of plastic covered the fuel tank. When a bullet teared the coating and the wall of the tank, some fuel was pushed out. This activated a middle layer in between the two layers of plastic. It was made of tiny plastic beads that absorbed the leaking fuel. The beads would then swell. The leak would then be shut. This self-healing plastic was called Battle Jacket, and it saved a lot of vehicles from destruction. More self-healing plastics were invented afterwards. By the third decade of the 21st century, self-healing plastics were commonplace.

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