Scientists at the University of Southern Mississippi developed a polyurethane coating that heals its own scratches when exposed to sunlight. This breakthrough uses chitosan, a substance found in the shells of crabs and shrimp, to make scratches in polymer coating disappear.
"When a scratch damages the chemical structure, the chitosan responds to ultraviolet light by forming chemical chains that begin bonding with other materials in the substance, eventually smoothing the scratch. The process can take less than an hour," according to an article in Yahoo! Tech News.
The self-healing material can be used in the coatings that protect car paint, finally giving consumers a real reason to opt for the TrueCoat paint upgrade on a new car.
Scientists say that a scratch can only heal itself once in the same place, although the chances of two scratches appearing in the same place are slim.
The real drawback is that it's sure to inspire an oxy-based knock off product hawked by Billy Mays in infomercials.
(Source: Yahoo! Tech News)