by Zoe Kleinman
Self-healing aeroplane wings could be introduced in the next five to 10 years, say UK researchers at the University of Bristol.
The team drew inspiration from the way the human body heals from a cut with blood that hardens into a scab.
They have developed tiny microspheres containing a liquid carbon-based “healing agent”, which are interspersed in the aeroplane wing itself.
The spheres burst when damaged, releasing the liquid, which hardens.
This hardening occurs when the liquid comes into contact with a catalyst substance, also present in the material of the modified wing. Temperature is an additional factor.
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