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A review of vascular networks for self-healing applications

Shields, Yasmina, De Belie, Nele, Jefferson, Anthony ORCID: and Van Tittelboom, Kim 2021. A review of vascular networks for self-healing applications. Smart Materials and Structures 10.1088/1361-665X/abf41d

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Increasing awareness for sustainability has led to the development of smart self-healing materials, which can extend the service life and improve safety without human intervention. Vascular networks are observed in biological systems, such as leaf venation and blood vascular systems, and provide inspiration for self-healing mechanisms in engineered systems. Embedding a vascular network in a host material has the advantage of addressing varying magnitudes of damage and allowing for an indefinite replenishment of the healing agent, which are current limitations of intrinsic and capsule-based self-healing systems. These networks are demonstrated in polymer and composite materials, with fabrication methods including removal of sacrificial elements, electrospinning, and an array of additive manufacturing (AM) techniques. Advances in AM allow more complex network configurations to be realized that optimize fluid distribution and healing potential. This review intends to provide a comprehensive overview of the current progress and limitations of the design approaches, fabrication methods, healing mechanisms, and relevant applications of embedded vascular networks. Additionally, significant research gaps and future research directions for vascular self-healing materials are described.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: IOP Publishing
ISSN: 0964-1726
Date of Acceptance: 31 March 2021
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2022 10:56

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