The Korean Institute of Science and Technology has developed a substance for automatically eliminating microcracks in polyimide, the material from which flexible gadget screens are made. This flexibility is still relative, and under certain loads, damage appears in the plates. To eliminate them, as it turned out, ordinary flaxseed oil is quite suitable.
Dr. Yong-Che Chung's team began by making microcapsules that are filled with linseed oil. The capsules are mixed with the substance polydimethylsiloxane (silicone base) to obtain a homogeneous solution. Then it is applied in a thin layer to the polyimide plate as a protective coating. The film dries and becomes transparent without interfering with the operation of the screen.
When the plate begins to crack under load, the film on its surface also deforms. The capsules are released and burst, linseed oil flows into the cracks and fills them, eliminating more than 95% of the damage. At normal room temperature, it will harden for a rather long time, but if you apply ultraviolet radiation, then the process will take only 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can treat the plate with hot water, achieving heating up to 70 ℃ at a humidity of at least 70%, which also significantly speeds up the process of eliminating cracks.