Self-Healing materials. It really works?


We return to the blog with a very hot topic, self-repairing materials or self-healing materials. Are they already a reality? Do they work? We tell you all the details below.

Self-repairing materials, better known as “self-healing materials”, are inspired by biological systems. When you get a wound, it bleeds and starts to coagulate in a few minutes stopping the bleeding and closing the wound. Well, this is basically what self-healing materials do: when they are scratched, they release a substance from inside that fills the gap that has been generated, leaving the surface smooth and repaired again. It seems magic, right?

There are different types of “self-healing” materials depending on their mechanism of

  • Capsules: when the line is broken, the capsules that contain the filling material that comes out fill the hole that has been generated. It is the easiest to perform and can withstand several cycles since there are many capsules per surface. The material will stop repairing when there are no more capsules to break to fill the gap in that area.
  • Vascular: the filling material is found in tubes, in the way of ‘veins’ that when cut because a strip is produced, they break and release their filling material to cover the hole. Its advantage is that the tubes can be connected to a reservoir of filling material, so they run out slower although they are also more complex systems.
  • Intrinsic: here there is no filling material, but the molecules when their bond is broken because there has been a line back to react when an external stimulus is applied, the most used heat so they come back together. Its advantage is that it does not run out “never” (never in technology is relative ?) since the molecules will be able to react while they are supplied with sufficient energy. It is one of the most durable methods.

In the cases of the capsules or tubes the filling material needs to react to harden, that is why you see in the image two colors to be two different substances that react when joining.
From ATRIA we bet on this type of materials for applications where you are looking for:

  • Scratch resistance
  • Resistance to abrasion
  • Aesthetic pieces

It can be added to:

  • Paintings
  • Polymers
  • Films
  • Concrete

We have been working with these materials for years with very positive results. For confidentiality issues that are very important for us, we can not show you our own samples, but we leave you a video that we hope you like.



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