Self-Healing Surfaces

Human skin is a phenomenon — small scratches and cuts heal quickly, leaving no trace of a scar after just a few days. It’s a different matter with materials, such as metals — if the electroplated layer protecting the metals from corrosion is scratched, rust protection is lost. Engineers are working on transferring the self-healing effect of skin to materials. The idea behind this is to introduce evenly distributed fluid-filled capsules into the electroplated layer — rather like raisins in a cake. If the layer is damaged, the pellets at the point of damage burst, the fluid runs out and repairs the scratch. Until now, these plans have failed due to the size of the capsules — at 10 to 15 micrometers they were too large for the electroplated layer, which is around 20 micrometers thick. The capsules altered the mechanical properties of the layer

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