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Self-healing particles based on polyHIPEs

Project Overview

Currently, the 'no growth' approach (i.e. damage propagation from a defect constitutes failure) is the mindset of the composites industry, which has led to excessively heavy components, shackling of innovative design, and a need for frequent inspection during service. The aim of CRASHCOMPS is to exploit understanding of compressive damage modes and predictive models, to facilitate a step change in composite design philosophy, such that damage growth can be tolerated. Uniquely, composites offer the freedom to 'tailor' internal architecture, hybridise and introduce novel features in order to achieve such a capability. Firstly, crack arrest/redirection concepts in polymer composite structures under monotonic compressive loading will be formulated and demonstrated. These concepts will be designed to inhibit the growth of rapid, unstable cracks, such that global (catastrophic) failure of the structure is hindered. Secondly, these structures will incorporate a self-healing capability whereby the arrested crack will then be autonomously healed. This is analogous to the numerous examples in nature where materials are generally damage tolerant and capable of self-repair. To maximise the potential for success, a core theme combining new or near-term technologies for crack arrest and self-healing will be investigated and supplemented by additional exploratory topics offering radical new approaches such as CNT reinforcement, piezoelectric stiffening, shear thickening materials, tow steering and novel resin delivery systems for self healing. As and when these ideas mature and are proven advantageous, they will be merged into the core activities.


Dan Cegla
PhD student

Prof. Alexander Bismarck
Dr. Joachim Steinke 



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