The use of functional repair components stored inside hollow reinforcing fibres is being considered as a self-repair system for future composite structures. The incorporation of a self-healing capability within a variety of materials, including fibre reinforced polymers (FRPs), has been investigated by a number of workers previously. This paper considers the placement of self-healing plies within an FRP to mitigate damage occurrence and restore mechanical strength. The flexural strength results indicate that the inclusion of hollow fibres results in an initial strength reduction of 16% from a baseline FRP laminate. However, the effect of impact damage on the performance of the baseline FRP laminate and the laminate containing the hollow fibre layers was comparable, with a flexural strength typically 72-74% of the undamaged state. Self-healing of the damage site saw the laminate recover 87% of the undamaged baseline FRP laminate's strength. This study provides clear evidence that an FRP laminate containing hollow fibre layers can successfully self-heal. This result suggests that biomimetic repair is now possible for advanced composite structures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)