New science on cracking leads to self-healing materials | 9/27/2019 | Staff
Cracks in the desert floor appear random to the untrained eye, even beautifully so, but the mathematics governing patterns of dried clay turn out to be predictable—and useful in designing advanced materials.

In a pair of new studies from Princeton University, researchers found that in a large class of common materials, including clay and human skin, individual grains of the material shrink as they dry. The amount and speed of shrinkability varies with the material's physical properties. By harnessing this previously unknown trait, the researchers are able to predict, and even reverse, cracking over time.

Application - Materials - Shrinkability - Something - Sujit

"The application of materials that spontaneously heal themselves, by leveraging shrinkability, is something I'm very excited about," said Sujit Datta, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering at Princeton University and lead author on the studies.

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