Of late a new paradigm of materials design, that of biomimicry, has gained wide attention for its promise to design and develop new synthetic materials exploiting lightweight, failure resistant and multifunctional properties of biological materials. Various methodologies have been reported and one of the earliest and most successful methods for self healing deals with the release of liquid monomer in the wake of a propagating crack that eventually retards the crack growth. The physics behind the crack retardation phenomenon in this situation has been variously attributed to the functionalization and eventual adhesion of the crack flanks due to curing polymer, and the crack closure effect due to the solidified polymer wedge behind the crack tip. Moreover, a competition between the time scale associated with healing chemistry occurs with the time scale associated with the cyclic loading in a fatigue loading environment. This competition determines the extent of crack retardation. The goal is to develop a set of predictive modeling tools that includes the physics of crack retardation along with the time scales associated with the healing chemistry and loading. Our modeling effort will finally arrive at a set of robust design protocols for efficient development of self healing materials.
Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Nanotechnology 2009: Fabrication, Particles, Characterization, MEMS, Electronics and Photonics
Published: May 3, 2009
Pages: 345 - 348
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topic: Materials Characterization & Imaging