Is self-healing material the future of construction?

Self-Adaptive CompositeHave you heard of SAC or self-adaptive composite? It’s a new material created by scientists at Rice University that has the potential to heal itself if damaged — You read that correctly, a non-biological material is capable of fixing itself.

 

By combining multiple polymers and a solvent that evaporates, miniature, sticky spheres work together to solidify and strengthen themselves if under duress. While this new material is only in the testing phases, scientists and various industry experts already see hundreds of useful applications for this new tech.

 

In fact, our very own Matt Roblez, S.E., SECB is one of those professionals that sees huge potential for this invention.  ”The structural possibilities with a finalized version of this product are almost limitless.  It could be used to fix splits in timber members, cracks in concrete and depending on the strength and applicability, be used to repair cracked welds. I hope to see further development of this and I will also be interested to see what company picks this up and commercializes it,” Roblez said.

 

Think about it! Complicated structural repairs could be performed and completed in only a few hours. Not only that, but demolition wouldn’t be necessary, as SAC could be applied to trouble areas while leaving soundly built components intact.

 

This article also mentions that SAC could be utilized in tissue engineering eventually. Imagine your body being able to repair itself or a non-invasive surgical procedure where these complex spheres are injected into your blood stream. While this all is still a long way off, it’s exciting to think about the endless possibilities.