By its very nature, the imparting of a self-healing function to engineering materials is highly innovative, as to date it has only been demonstrated at either a conceptual level or within relatively constrained application areas. The impact of this research could be immense across a broad range of application areas, facilitating a revolution in the design, use and longevity of components. Safety critical systems in transport could be enhanced by an intrinsic method of repair while the more sustainable use of materials over longer periods would also be realised. In addition, the concept of self-healing provides a very effective means of public engagement and interaction as it is readily understood at the basic level, being a function all living organisms are intrinsically capable of undergoing.

The overall scientific aim of SHeMat is to implement self-healing functionalities in different materials and enable the transfer of such technology to commercial products. A secondary aim is to develop standardised characterisation methods for self-healing efficacy and capability. The latter is crucial to the wider acceptance and commercial exploitation of self-healing materials, and is noticeably absent from any current activities throughout the world. 

The following materials will be the focus of the project:

→     Polymers (elastomers & thermoplastics, coatings & bulk polymers)

→     Fibre reinforced polymer composites (carbon, glass, polymeric reinforcements)

→     Concrete

→     Ceramics (bulk composites ceramics & ceramic coatings) 

The SHeMat research programme can be subdivided in the following four workpackages. In SHeMat, 11 ESR projects (each for 36 months) and 4 ER projects (24 months each) will be offered to the fellows.




WP 1

Polymers with self-healing functionality


WP 2

Self-healing composites


WP 3

Self-healing concrete


WP 4

Self-healing ceramics

TU Delft

WP 5

Assessment of self-healing capabilities




Additional information