Context: For the first time, scientists have witnessed metal fragments demonstrating a remarkable self-healing capability. As these fragments cracked, they spontaneously fused back together without any human intervention. More about the news:
- Self-healing structures: This inherent ability could be engineered into metals, leading to the creation of self-healing machines and structures. For example, self-healing engines, bridges, and airplanes.
- Reversing damages: These innovations could effectively reverse damage caused by wear and tear, significantly enhancing the safety and longevity of various structures and machinery.
- Mitigating fatigue damage: Self-healing can reduce fatigue damage, a common machine failure cause. After repeated stress or motion, machines develop microscopic cracks that grow and eventually lead to machine failure. Self-healing properties could automatically repair such damage, preventing catastrophic breakdowns and lowering maintenance costs.