Scratching
the Surface
From knee joints to nick-proof paint jobs, self-repairing materials make the things we use last longer.

Imagine the paint scratches on your car start repairing themselves when the sun comes up. It’s totally possible.

Dr. Marek Urban, J.E. Sirrine Foundation Endowed Chair in Materials Science and Engineering, and his team create groundbreaking, complex materials that can heal themselves in response to changes in light, temperature or other stimuli.

Nanotechnology is delivering exciting discoveries because elements behave quite differently at the molecular scale — color changes, interaction with other elements, acidity, temperature and more.

The first self-healing materials were soft and repaired themselves by rebuilding a single chemical bond. But they had limited value in the field.

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