Construction of Self Healing Spacecraft
Self-healing materials are designed to perform following functions
Provide continuous healing over lifetime
Integrate the material surface without any ridges
100 % recovery of mechanical strength
A self-healing material is composed of 3 parts
Healing agent- the healing agent is a fluid called, dicyclopentadiene or DCPD. The fluid is in the form of encapsulated tiny bubbles that are spread throughout the composite material.
Catalyst – the function of catalyst called grubb's catalyst is to enable the healing agent to heal the composite material. Catalyst and healing agent are separated until they are required to seal a crack.
Working of self- healing material
When a crack is formed in the composite material, it cracks the capsules of healing agent thus releasing it.
The polymer formed will thus bond the crack.
Tests conducted have proved that this self-healing material regains 75 percent of its original strength. We are still long way from building a spacecraft that will help regain 100% of its original strength.
Self-healing technology will help us in building spacecraft that will take us beyond the solar system. Besides, spacecrafts self-healing materials also have a wide application in fields of electronics, biomedicine, defense projects, and engineering.