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The search for self-repairing materials

Posted: June 03, 2011

Engineers have long been figuring out ways of making materials tougher. Recent research has entered into a new dimension of discovery: the possibilities of engineering materials in ways that would enable them to sense their surroundings and, beyond that, even repair themselves when they are damaged.

The potential  to fashion materials to possess such reconstructive capabilities is being explored by many materials scientists and engineers, including Karl Sieradzki, a professor in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, one Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

He and others are revealing results of experiments with “tuning” the mechanical properties of materials at their most basic levels as a method for creating “responsive materials.”

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