Self-healing polymer

Structural polymers are susceptible to damage in the form of cracks, which form deep within the structure where detection is difficult and repair is almost impossible. Regardless of the application, once cracks have formed within polymeric materials, the integrity of the structure is significantly compromised.Experiments exploring the concept of self-repair have been previously reported, but the only successful crack-healing methods that have been reported so far require some form of manual intervention. Here we report a structural polymeric material with the ability to autonomically heal cracks.The material incorporates a microencapsulated healing agent that is released upon crack intrusion.

Source: autonomic.uiuc.eduAdded: 9 June 2006