A self-healing, high performance, carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) composite is demonstrated by embedding a Lewis-acid catalytic curing agent within a laminate, manufactured using out of autoclave (OOA) composite manufacturing methods. Two configurations of healing agent delivery, pre-mixed and autonomous mixing, are investigated via injection of a healing agent through bio-inspired microvascular channels exposed on Mode I fractured crack planes. Healing is effected when an epoxy resin-solvent healing agent mixture reaches the boundary of embedded solid-state scandium(III) triflate (Sc(OTf)3) catalyst, located on the crack plane, to initiate the ring-opening polymerisation (ROP) of epoxides. Tailored self-healing agents confer high healing efficiency values after multiple healing cycles (69–108%) to successfully mitigate against crack propagation within the composite microstructure.
- repeated healing