Characterization of Self-Healing Polymers: From Macroscopic Healing Tests to the Molecular Mechanism

  • Stefan Bode
  • Marcel Enke
  • Marianella Hernandez
  • Ranjita K. Bose
  • Antonio M. Grande
  • Sybrand van der Zwaag
  • Ulrich S. SchubertEmail author
  • Santiago J. GarciaEmail author
  • Martin D. HagerEmail author
Part of the Advances in Polymer Science book series (POLYMER, volume 273)


Over the last few years, several testing methods have been introduced for the detection and quantification of autonomous and thermally stimulated healing in polymers. This review summarizes some of the most prominent state-of-the-art techniques for the characterization of polymer healing occurring at the microscopic and macroscopic levels during the repair of damage such as scratches, cracks, or ballistic perforations. In addition to phenomenological investigation of the self-healing process, a range of physical characterization techniques have been explored for elucidation of the underlying healing mechanism at the molecular or polymer network level. The present state of visual methods, spectroscopic techniques, scattering techniques, and dynamic methods is described. A short outlook is provided, discussing the future challenges and expected new trends in the characterization of self-healing polymers.


Ballistic impact Dielectric spectroscopy Fracture testing Raman spectroscopy Rheology Scratch healing Self-healing polymers Tapered double-cantilever beam Tensile testing 



The authors thank the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, SPP 1568), the European Union (PIEF-GA-2013-623379) and the Dutch IOP-SHM program for financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Bode
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marcel Enke
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marianella Hernandez
    • 3
  • Ranjita K. Bose
    • 3
  • Antonio M. Grande
    • 3
  • Sybrand van der Zwaag
    • 3
  • Ulrich S. Schubert
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Santiago J. Garcia
    • 3
    Email author
  • Martin D. Hager
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry (IOMC)Friedrich Schiller University JenaJenaGermany
  2. 2.Jena Center for Soft Matter (JCSM)Friedrich Schiller University JenaJenaGermany
  3. 3.Novel Aerospace Materials (NovAM), Faculty of Aerospace EngineeringDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

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