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The IUP Journal of Mechanical Engineering
Design of Self-Healing Composites
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The emphasis on environmental protection and sustainability has led to ways to reduce the amount of waste in construction and production industries. In particular, the amount of waste accumulating in landfills and oceans will have a serious impact on the earth’s climate in the near future and is already being felt worldwide. One of the possible ways to reduce rejected materials and waste is to develop self-healing materials. Natural materials consisting mainly of composites already show self-healing properties. The only drawback is the time required to develop original strength. It is proposed to look at the geometrical properties of such composites and at the parameters which could be optimized with regard to self-healing. Such materials could find a place in roofing, earthquake-resistant structures, road surfaces, space vehicles and car paints among numerous other consumer applications.

 
 

The problem of waste accumulation and pollution is now a global one. “Use and throw” mindsets encouraged by big corporations aiming at obsolescence have contributed to huge piles of toxic waste in major metropolises worldwide. The ocean has also been included in the garbage dumping grounds, with immense islands of plastic bottles and waste being found in littoral zones, resulting in the destruction of marine life and ecology. Renewable sustainable technologies are the need of the hour. So far people have been talking about recycling e-waste and consumer goods, and in third-world countries, many so-called obsolete products find extended lives in reuse and resale. In fact, the island nations of the Pacific have adopted many of these technologies like producer gas for marine craft fuel and use of coconut palm products and husk for roofing. In the field of materials, a new class of products, “Self-Healing Materials”, has appeared. The idea is taken from nature, where structural damage in skin, tissue and bone is repaired in situ by natural processes with an inbuilt system aided by vascular and other processes (Bejan, 2006). Some background materials are mentioned by Wool (2008), also the mimicking of nature (Trask et al., 2007). A review mentioning various mechanisms including self-repair and redundancy was done by Frei et al. (2013) and Parul and Karuna (2015).

 
 

Mechanical Engineering Journal,Self-healing, Composite, Vascular, Capsule, Diffusion.