Explore the world's #1 largest database of ideas and innovations, with over 400,000 inspiring examples.
Uncover major shifts and emerging opportunities with our exclusive PRO research.
Trend Reports
Discover why 750 brands rely on our AI-powered Trend Reports to get better, faster insights.
Join over 200,000 subscribers who rely on our weekly newsletter to keep up with need-to-know trends and insights.
Join 20,000,000+ people getting better and faster with our New York Times Bestselling methods, best innovation books & keynote videos.
Get special access to premium content, topic tracking and customizable tools through our AI-powered Dashboard.
Learn how the Trend Hunter harnesses the power of artificial intelligence.
Enhance your innovation potential with a deeper understanding of your unique innovation archetype and how your organization benchmarks.
Accelerate innovation and ignite disruptive thinking with our award-winning programs and research.
Keynotes, Workshops & Webinars
Empower your team with the insights and frameworks they need to innovate better and faster.
Custom Research
Get fast, customized trend reports, presentations and deep dives 20x faster than traditional research.
Get started today with a free consultation, our self-serve tools, or a dedicated program.
Jeremy Gutsche
Ignite your event or virtual event with our CEO, a NY Times Bestselling Author and one of the top innovation keynote speakers.
Our Team of Speakers & Virtual Presenters
Inspire your group with our most popular speakers on innovation, trends, change and futurism.
Get in touch to learn more, ask a question or submit a tip.
About Us
Learn more about Trend Hunter and how we accelerate innovation.
Get answers to common questions about Trend Hunter.
Stay on the cutting-edge with the help of the Trend Hunter community.
Meet the team trusted by hundreds of leading businesses worldwide.
Find opportunities to accelerate your career with the #1 Trend Firm.
Grow your professional skillset in an award-winning workplace.
Catch up on noteworthy Trend Hunter news and media mentions.
Build a portfolio and put your trend-spotting abilities to the test.
Supercharge your marketing by partnering with Trend Hunter.
Visit your public portfolio and browse your past articles.
Add a Trend
Write up an article and showcase your trend-spotting skills.
My Trends
Edit your articles and see how they stack up on the leaderboards.
Edit your profile, connect your social media accounts, and more.
Add a trend, customize your dashboard, or track topics.
Future Festival
World Summit
Join the world's top innovators at our 3-Day Toronto event.
eLearning (NEW)
Prepare for the year's ahead with 100+ lessons, tactics, tools and frameworks with our full learning database.
Virtual Events (NEW!)
Stream our World Summit content from the comfort of your home.
Free Webinars
During COVID-19, learn to innovate through chaos, navigate the new normal and maintain work culture from home.
Innovation Events
Explore our 2020 tour dates and find the best city to inspire your team.
Custom Events
Host a custom innovation conference in your city that will inform and inspire.
Custom Training
Bring the Future Festival experience directly to your team with custom training packages.
Search our database of over 390,000 cutting edge ideas.

Self-Healing Plastics

Smart Polymers Repair Themselves When Exposed to Ultraviolet Light

— April 25, 2011 — Autos
Smart polymers may soon make a dent in auto body repair revenues. That's because smart polymers are able to repair themselves when exposed to ultraviolet light. The self-healing abilities extend beyond the plastics used in auto manufacture because while many polymers are plastics, many other materials, both natural and synthetic, are also polymers. Neoprene, nylon, PVC, polystyrene, polyethylene and silicone are all synthetic polymers that might be made self-healing.

Popular Science explains:
...known as supramolecular assembly, these self-healing polymers are composed of small molecules assembled into long, polymer-like chains using metal ions as a kind of “molecular glue” ... under intense ultraviolet light that molecular glue comes undone, allowing the material to flow like a liquid and fill in a scratch or tear. Remove the UV source, and the polymer glue sets again, re-chaining the polymer and creating a solid coating once again.

The self-healing properties of smart polymers are attractive, but I wonder what happens when sunlight hits a car coated with smart polymers. Does the surface go molten until sunset, or is the intensity of ultraviolet light required greater than that emitted from the sun? Maybe that's one of the items yet to be worked out.

Image Credits: 1 | 2