MS34 - Bioinspired self-healing structural materials

  • Nima Rahbar, WPI, CEE 

Self-healing of materials and structures is the process of restoration of mechanical functionality by means of a variety of mechanisms that range from active mineralization and polymerization to ordered or disordered self-assembly. It is now emerging as a highly topical issue in engineering mechanics of soft and hard matter, because of its potential impact on safe and sustainable engineering design. While a variety of disciplines and communities have addressed this challenging topic, the future of this emerging field will strongly depend on translational moves between disciplines, incl. chemistry, physics, materials sciences, engineering mechanics, structural engineering, geotechnics, and biomechanics. This is the focus of this symposium dedicated to the Mechanics of Self-Healing Materials and Structures, which seeks contributions, both theoretical and experimental in nature, that explicitly address the coupling between self-healing and mechanics of materials. Topics of particular interest include the modeling of open self-healing thermodynamic systems, surface vs. volume growth, innovative experimental methods to assess the mechanics of self-healing, and upscaling of atomic and/or microscopic phenomena to the structural engineering scale. 

Examples include:

  • Mechanical healing in biological materials and living systems
  • Thermodynamics of open systems subject to healing
  • Crystal growth leading to macroscopic mechanical healing
  • Methods for understanding and predicting mechanical healing -- theoretical, numerical, experimental and practical approaches
  • New developments related to optimized self-healing capabilities, repair techniques, and treatments to enhance the degradation resistance
  • Applications to the design of structures that contain engineered and natural materials

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