Researchers from the University of Tokyo in Japan accidentally discovered a new type of glass that can heal itself from breaks when pressed by hand at room temperature.
A graduate student found the material during an experiment, when he intended to use it as glue, but finally got a sheet of glass that could be healed after being pressed together by hand without heat to melt it.
The researchers said the new material is the first hard substance of its kind that can be healed at room temperature.
"I hope the repairable glass becomes a new environment-friendly material that avoids the need to be thrown away if broken," the graduate student Yu Yanagisawa told local media.
It was also found via further experimentation that the new polymer glass could regain its original strength after a couple of hours.
This is not the first time a polymer has been suggested as a healable screen for devices such as smartphones. If this new type of glass goes into production for smartphones, bearing a shattered phone would be a thing of the past.