When we think about the materials ability to persist scratch, scrap and crack the very first thing that comes in our mind materials’ toughness. Most of the materials cannot heal themselves after getting damaged.
So, to protect the metal from these unwanted scratches and cracks, the researchers at Northwestern University have developed a Self-healing coating based on oil.
This Novel material can self-heal the metal within a second after damage. When damage occurs, the system realizes the coating to readily flows and reconnect to rapidly heal metal from scratches and cracks. It prevents these tiny defects from turning into localized corrosion.
Jiaxing Huang, Professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern University, told “We made self-healing coatings on the metal surface based on oil. The unusual part is that the oil coating does not drip, sticks very well, and at the same time can rapidly heal when scratched. Such coatings can protect the metal surface from the highly corrosive environment[s].”
The self-healing materials were developed by modifying on oil with lightweight hollow particles in the form of small graphene capsules, which thicken the oil. It can heal the scratches which measure up to in millimeters. While the existing self-healing systems can heal scratches measures in nanometers and some microns.
The material can heal the metal repeatedly even after getting the scratch on the exact same spot again and again about 200 times in a row.
Huang, who led the team said, “When a boat cuts through water, the water goes right back together. The ‘cut’ quickly heals because water flows readily. We were inspired to realize that fluids, such as oils, are the ultimate self-healing system.”
This coating can stick even in underwater and in chemical environments. It could be painted on bridges and boats such as an underwater submarine. Besides, on the metals that usually placed near leaked or split highly corrosion fluids.
It can withstand strong turbulence and can stick to sharp corners.
Besides, while painting it on the underwater surfaces, the coating spread equally without forming any bubbles of oil or moisture which also can cause corrosion.
The study is published in journal Research, the first Science Partner Journal recently launched by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in collaboration with the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST).