So what else will the cut ends bond to?

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Self-healing rubber bounces back:

But break a rubber (or most other solids), and the chemical welds – known as covalent bonds – are also broken. These cannot be remade. Nor can a piece of rubber be remoulded or reshaped. “We wanted to see if we could make a rubber-like material using small molecules,” Dr Leibler of the Industrial Physics and Chemistry Higher Educational Institution (ESPCI) in Paris told the BBC’s Science In Action programme. The trick was to replace the covalent bonds in rubber with weaker connections known as hydrogen bonds. These are like hands on neighbouring molecules that can clasp together, but let go when broken. Dr Leibler quickly realised that this meant not only that the new rubber could be recycled and remoulded many times over, but that if separated by a cut or break, the chemical hands at the fresh surfaces would still be waving about ready to bind again.

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