Dec 122010
 

Thermal image capturing the temperature gradient created by the photo-thermal heating method. (Credit: Image courtesy of American Institute of Physics)

You’ve seen it in movies: the human-like, robot assassin quickly regenerates its structure after being damaged beyond recognition.

This “Terminator” scenario is becoming less far-fetched as recent advances in structural health monitoring systems have led to a variety of ways to identify damage to a structural system.

Now, in the Journal of Applied Physics, researchers at Arizona State University have created a material that may be able to not only sense damage in structural materials, such as cracking in a fiber-reinforced composite, but to even heal it. The aim of developing “autonomous adaptive structures” is to mimic the ability of biological systems such as bone to sense the presence of damage, halt its progression, and regenerate itself.

Read more . . .

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