Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Self-healing Surfaces

Date:
August 18, 2009
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
The engineers' dream of self-healing surfaces has taken another step towards becoming reality -- researchers have produced a electroplated layer that contains tiny nanometer-sized capsules. If the layer is damaged, the capsules release fluid and repair the scratch.

Self-healing surfaces.
Credit: Image courtesy of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

The engineers‘ dream of self-healing surfaces has taken another step towards becoming reality – researchers have produced a electroplated layer that contains tiny nanometer-sized capsules. If the layer is damaged, the capsules release fluid and repair the scratch.^

Related Articles


Human skin is a phenomenon – small scratches and cuts heal quickly, leaving no trace of a scar after just a few days. It’s a different matter with materials, such as metals – if the electroplated layer protecting the metals from corrosion is scratched, rust protection is lost. Engineers are working on transferring the self-healing effect of skin to materials. The idea behind this is to introduce evenly distributed fluid-filled capsules into the electroplated layer – rather like raisins in a cake. If the layer is damaged, the pellets at the point of damage burst, the fluid runs out and ‘repairs’ the scratch.

Until now, these plans have failed due to the size of the capsules – at 10 to 15 micrometers they were too large for the electroplated layer, which is around 20 micrometers thick. The capsules altered the mechanical properties of the layer.

Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart, together with colleagues from Duisburg-Essen University, have developed a process for producing electroplated layers with nano-capsules, in a project being financed by the Volkswagen Foundation. At only a few hundred nanometers in diameter, the capsules are measured on another scale entirely, compared with previous results. “The challenge lies in not damaging the capsules when producing the electroplated layer”, says Dr. Martin Metzner, Head of Department at IPA. “The smaller the capsules, the thinner and more sensitive their casing. The electrolytes used for these electroplated-technical processes are extremely aggressive chemically and can easily destroy the capsules”. The researchers therefore had to find a compatible material for the capsule casing depending on the electrolytes used.

Mechanical bearings are one example of possible applications – the materials of the bearings usually have a electroplated coating, in which the capsules can be embedded. If there is a temporary shortage of lubricant, part of the bearing’s coating is lost, the capsules at the top of the layer burst and release lubricant. The bearing is not therefore damaged if it temporarily runs dry.

The researchers have produced the first copper, nickel and zinc coatings with the new capsules, although surface coverage does not extend beyond the centimeter scale. Experts estimate that it will be another one and a half to two years before whole components can be coated. In a further step the team worked on more complex systems – involving differently filled capsules, for example, whose fluids react with one another like a two component adhesive.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Self-healing Surfaces." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090803084008.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2009, August 18). Self-healing Surfaces. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090803084008.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Self-healing Surfaces." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090803084008.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) US President Barack Obama says that construction of the Keystone pipeline would have 'very little impact' on US gas prices and believes there are 'more direct ways' to create construction jobs. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins