Embedded Shape-Memory Alloy Wires for Improved Performance of Self-Healing Polymers
We report the first measurements of self-healing polymers with embedded shape memory alloy (SMA) wires. The addition of SMA wires shows improvements of healed peak fracture loads by up to a factor of 1.6, approaching the performance of the virgin material. Moreover, the repairs can be achieved with reduced amounts of healing agent. The improvements in performance are due to two main effects: i) crack closure, which reduces the total crack volume and increases the crack fill factor for a given amount of healing agent, and ii) heating of the healing agent during polymerisation, which increases the degree of cure of the polymerised healing agent.