A group of scientists drawn from the Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research, Tampere University of Technology and the Dresden University of Technology have teamed up to develop self-healing rubber tire technology.
There are few things as annoying as suffering a flat tire and having to patch or replace it. Now however, damaged tires could be left for a few hours to heal on their own.
Tires these days are usually manufactured using the process of vulcanization, which involves adding compounds such as a sulfur to the rubber. This improves the tire's durability by forming sturdy cross-links. However, once broken, these links cannot be repaired.
These self-healing rubber tires get around that problem by discarding the vulcanization aspect altogether. The addition of a special carbon/nitrogen compound allows the tires to heal themselves.