Autonomic Self-Healing Polymer
GiroScience @ stock.adobe.com
A smart material that is able to repair itself when damaged without the need for manual intervention. The self-healing capabilities can be achieved by embedding certain polymers with microcapsules containing a self-healing material, such as Dicyclopentadiene (DCPD). The self-healing process takes place by capillary action when the microcapsule shell wall is ruptured in case of eventual cracks, scratches, or other damages. DCPD is ingrained in an epoxy resin microcapsule containing Grubbs’ catalyst, responsible for polymerizing the DCPD. In the event of a crack, these microcapsules are ruptured, causing DCPD to be released reacting with the catalyst. This forms a polymer that autonomously bonds the crack faces, reconstructing the material.