Self-Repairing Aircraft Fixes Itself
Similar to the process our very own bodies go through when we cut ourselves, researchers at the Engineering and Sciences Research Council near Bristol are developing a composite material that “bleed” resin when stressed or damaged – filling in minor holes and cracks that develop on plane's ‘skin' as they age.
According to Wired:
The composite material is made from hollow fibers filled with epoxy resin. When a hole or crack appears, the resin leaks out and seals the break and returns it to 80 to 90 percent of its original strength. The epoxy is colored, making it easy for mechanics to spot the repairs and make a permanent fix. Slight damage incurred during flight (and we're talking a tiny tear or crack, not a gaping hole), would be fixed in the time that it takes a small cut to stop bleeding.