If the most important problem restraining polymer usage is damage and the inability to control it, predict, detect it it, then the solution is self repair of the composites. In order to be self -repairing, a healing chemical is stored in hollow fiber or vessels embedded in the polymer matrix. When the composite cracks, the crack progresses cracking the repair fiber, or bead. The healing chemical flows into the crack and the crack faces are rebonded. Also the fiber can be rebonded to the matrix or delaminations repaired with the adhesive. This research focuses on factors affecting repair so that it will be reliable and not as unpredictable as the polymer matrix itself.
Carolyn M. Dry, Carolyn M. Dry,
"Self-repairing of composites", Proc. SPIE 5055, Smart Structures and Materials 2003: Smart Electronics, MEMS, BioMEMS, and Nanotechnology, (22 July 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.510391; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.510391