Self-healing means the recovery of the material to the state of original properties after damage and change occurred by an environmental cause or internal pre-deposited circumstance such as internal stress. There are other synonym words to cover self-healing materials such as; self-repairing, autonomic-healing, autonomic-repairing. In most cases, the self-healing of the material requires external stimuli thus such materials be divided into two main groups; autonomic (with no intervention), Non-autonomic (needs a human intervention/external triggering.
Conventionally, the damaged materials are repaired by patching, glueing or welding, which requires external intervention. The self-healing materials decrease this intervention need with an ultimate aim to achieve zero interference. For instance, autonomous self-healing materials give zero intervention; such materials extend the working life and the reliability of the whole systems while reducing the overall cost of maintenance.
At Belpico, we are developing polymer matrix self-healing nanocomposites branded as STATS. STATS are reinforced with microcapsules, which are loaded with active agents. In the event of crack formation, these reservoirs rupture which induces the release of healing agent and movement through the material with capillary effect. Healing agent meets with predisposed catalysts inside composite and the solidification starts. Solidification of healing agent fills the cracked section. STATS is the only space qualified self-healing material with active self-healing microcapsules.