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Posted on December 13, 2021 by  & 

Self-Healing Materials can now Create Billion-Dollar Businesses

Self-healing materials are a new megatrend. The need is massive, from saving trillions of dollars lost yearly by collapsing buildings and bridges to bionic man and woman living better and longer. In saving the planet and preserving resources, long life from self-healing beats recycling any day.
For added-value materials companies this is the next big one. The research pipeline is strongly growing. Latest breakthroughs will take us from party tricks to serious adoption. That applies from concrete to implants, coatings, paint and artificial skin, even buildings on the moon that are not riddled with punctures.
There are rich pickings here for those with skills in such chemistries as geopolymers, silicones, epoxies, ionomers, polyurethanes, hydrogels and Diels-Alder polymers. Think nanotechnology and biomimetics and particularly large opportunities in healthcare, aerospace and construction.
We are at the start of the S curve of adoption for most of these rollouts so forecasting as far ahead as 2022-2042 is essential in evaluating the dollars, numbers and roadmaps. They are only available in "Self-Healing Materials Markets 2022-2042, the unique report written in a clear and straightforward manner by PhD level, multilingual IDTechEx analysts deployed across the world. Jargon is explained both in the glossary and the text and there are virtually no equations. Instead, it is focussed on commercial lessons from research, success and failure, bringing research to market, emerging competition, benefitting society and creating billion-dollar activities.
The Executive Summary and Conclusions - 50 pages is sufficient in itself for those in a hurry because it has many new infograms, comparison charts and graphs for easy assimilation of the whole commercial picture 2022-2042. For example, the different degrees of self-healing are compared in desirability and the favourite chemistries are set against the main industry sectors for which they are appropriate. See the technology patent trend and the primary addressable markets forecasted. See 15 key conclusions concerning needs, 15 concerning technologies then 10 concerning applications.
The Introduction - 30 pages has the technology basics in easily assimilated form - appropriate chemical families, biomimetics, physical options and IDTechEx recommended route forward. See how it fits in with the trend to structural electronics - multifunctional materials.
Chapter 3 sets the scene by appraising:
Self-healing materials in commercial use - 11 pages such as self-healing paint protection film and self-healing PVC cutting mats and other parts, materials repairing bullet holes and space debris and concrete that repairs by reacting with the air.
In the next four chapters, the report looks at existing and future needs and applications divided into:
  • Self-healing construction materials: concrete, ceramic, bitumen, asphalt, fiber-reinforced polymers - 27 pages. Here are conventional chemistries but also use of bacteria, enzymes and funghi and why self-healing fiber-reinforced plastics are tough to develop but we shall succeed. Very different mechanisms are applied for ceramics and asphalt for example and it is all explained with many images.
  • Self-healing in healthcare: biomaterials and other applications - 26 pages. See why the big research money is being applied here and how key targets include dental and orthopaedic implants, electronic skin, biosensors, tissue engineering, drug delivery and cancer therapy and what progress is being made with each. Necessarily, hydrogels receive much attention due to their importance in this sector.
  • Self-healing anticorrosion and antifouling surfaces - 15 pages. See many geometries applied here and chemistries that include epoxies, celluloses, polyanilines, polypyrroles, polystyrenes, polyionomers and vinyl ester polymers. See self-healing polymer film and paint involving polyurethanes but also hydrogels and epoxies.
  • Self-healing materials for electronic, electric, optical devices, desalination, soft robotics - 39 pages has coverage on self-healing membranes for desalination, batteries, fuel cells and so on plus self-healing barrier layers for displays and photovoltaics. Because of its relative importance, self-healing in batteries is well covered - such as their emerging fluorine chemistries - more than transistors and other devices where a new materials demand is not necessarily resulting. Self-healing sensors deservedly get strong attention with many chemistries reported variously involving elastomers, graphene, carbon nanotubes, metamaterials as well as the siloxanes/ silicones again.
The second half of the report goes deeply into the research pipeline and what of this will result in sale of new self-healing materials. This is necessarily more technical, involving many very complex organic chemistries in particular, summarising what the latest research tells us. Polypeptides, polyurethanes, silicones, acrylics, Diels-Alder polymers, and fluoropolymers are just a part. Much of it is a deep dive into topics covered earlier. It is broken down into:
  • Self-healing bulk polymers and composites: research pipeline to commercial success - 19 pages
  • Shape memory assisted self-healing SMASH: research pipeline to commercial success - 8 pages
  • Morphing hosts and self-healing implications: research pipeline to commercial success - 16 pages
For more information on this report, please visit or for the full portfolio of Advanced Materials research available from IDTechEx please visit
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Posted on: December 13, 2021

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