The Self-Healing Concept

A microencapsulated healing agent is embedded in a structural composite matrix containing a catalyst capable of polymerizing the healing agent.
(i) Cracks form in the matrix wherever damage occurs.
(ii) The crack ruptures the microcapsules, releasing the healing agent into the crack plane through capillary action.
(iii) The healing agent contacts the catalyst triggering polymerization that bonds the crack faces closed

[photo credit: Nature, 409, 2001, pp. 794-797]
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