A number of self healing mechanisms for composite materials have been presented in the previous chapters of this book. These methods vary from the classical concept of micro-encapsulating of healing agents in polymer systems to the autonomous healing of concrete. The key feature of these self healing mechanisms is the transport of material to the damaged zone in order to establish the healing process. Generally, this material is a fluid and its motion is driven by capillary action which enables transportation over relatively large distances requiring little or no work. In the microencapsulated polymers as developed by White et al. , this liquid material is a healing agent, which is enclosed in the material by micro-encapsulation. When the capsule is ruptured by a crack, the healing agent will flow into the crack, driven by capillary action. Polymerisation of this healing agent is triggered by contact with catalysts which are inserted in the material and whose position is fixed. The new polymerised material will rebond the crack surfaces.
|Title of host publication||Self healing materials : an alternative approach to 20 centuries of materials science|
|Editors||S. Zwaag, van der|
|Place of Publication||Berlin|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|
|Name||Springer Series in Materials Science|