Self-healing materials are the next-generation materials for high-performance structures. To reduce the fatigue and subsequent probability of failure along with extended service life of polymer and polymer composites, the self-healing concept has great potential. Today, polymeric composites are structural matrix and prone to failure against cyclic mechanical and thermal loading. Significant degradation of polymeric structures at surficial sites can be measured by barely visible impact damage (BVID), but internal micro-cracks are not easily detectable. Various damage modes make major damage sites in composites and further lead to catastrophic failure of the structure. On-site repairing of microscopic or macroscopic damages in polymer composites is a value-added function that is offered by self-healing techniques. Different extrinsic methods including encapsulation, hollow fiber embedment, and vascular methods are preferred, and some intrinsic, dynamic bonding is created by reversible covalent networks and supramolecular interaction based on H-bonding, metal-ligand, and ionomers. This chapter is preferred on the new trends and challenges regarding the structural health monitoring of polymeric composites against external mechanical and environmental impacts and extended service life and performance by utilizing self-healing strategies.
Part of the book: Functional Materials