Self-healing aeroplane wings ‘to fix tiny cracks’

Jul 1, 2015

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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3 comments on “Self-healing aeroplane wings ‘to fix tiny cracks’

  • On june 15, there is a news article: “Military technology: Laser weapons get real.”
    Turns out the “weapon” requires a laser beam to be focused for 10 to 15 seconds on a low velocity airborne target (a cruising drone or a high arcing mortar shell) approaching very slowly at close range. I wonder if a possible counter to this unwieldy behemoth (it’s mounted on top of a gigantic lumbering 18-wheeler truck), would be the insertion of heat resistent material in the area of the drone being gradually heated by the beam.

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