In order to overcome the challenges and limitations related to conventional maintenance and repair methods in structural composites during service, the concept of self-healing for polymeric materials has been developed in the last decades. Inspired by biological systems, ideal self-healing materials must be able to repair damages continuously during the service life of the component, recovering its performance. Several techniques have been proposed in the last years to manufacture self-healing polymers and fiber-reinforced composites to provide healing of microcracks in the composite structure without or with less intervention, extending service life and safety of the components and reducing maintenance time and cost. This book chapter proposes an overview of the most promising self-healing approaches for thermoset and polymer matrix composites developed in recent year.
Part of the book: Fiber-Reinforced Plastics