Self-Healing Phenomena in Metals

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In comparison to other materials, in metals and metallic systems self-healing of cracks and crack-initiating defects is difficult to achieve due to the fact the solute atoms that act as healing agents are relatively small and generally have a relatively low mobility at the prevailing operating temperatures. In this review, the scientifically most interesting and industrially most promising approaches to self-healing metals are presented and discussed. The various approaches are separated in autonomous healing methods based on an intrinsic (solid-state diffusion) mechanism and assisted healing methods that need an external intervention. Some promising routes are identified while in other cases the approach has too many intrinsic limitations. Recently, a number of computational studies using molecular dynamics and finite element modeling have been performed to analyze the self-healing potential of metal systems as a function of the imposed conditions and to guide the further development of this family of self-healing materials.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalAdvanced Materials Interfaces
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Creep damage
  • Fatigue damage
  • Metals
  • Precipitation
  • Self-healing


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