Ben Smye is a notable digital marketer based in Munich, Germany with over ten years of growth hacking experience. He recently explored self-healing materials and the plausible impact they will have on the automotive industry in the near future. Below are a few points on the soon-to-be healing material revolution.
What Are Self-Healing Materials?
The idea is not as futuristic as it seems, I mean we surely aren’t at a point where machines will begin to fix themselves but engineers are working on technology that can make this idea somewhat of a reality.
Inside the said materials, there is a healing agent made of small embed capsules. When the material is damaged, these capsules burst and release a repair substance.
This technology is still in beta phases and does pose a few complications. For instance, capsules are made to burst once and thus won’t be used to help the need for repetitive repairs.
They are also dependent on the size of the materials they are geared to fix. Too many capsules in a small material might weaken its lifespan.
However, engineers have also created self-healing materials that work through vascular networks like the veins on a leaf, to help heal products from the inside out rather than replacing entire items.
Self-Healing Materials…In Cars
It’s much harder to create self-healing materials is made of chemically bonded metals, so research is focused heavily on polymers. A smart polymer rebuilds characteristics after damage and, intrinsic polymers don’t need the help of external stimuli.
Practical applications of self-healing technology include polymeric coatings on cars to reduce maintenance such as anti-corrosion and scratch resistance. This measure alone can save future car owners by reducing the cost of automotive maintenance, much of which is spent on exterior work like car paint.
Also, in development is self-healing rubber which heals itself by disturbing stress around the materials. Molecule compositions prevent stress from localizing at one point and cracking the rubber.
Using this technology in car tires can help reduce stress and create longer-lasting tires that can withhold even in extreme weather conditions.
The future is bright for car maintenance technology thanks to the development of self-healing materials.