Self-Healing Wire Insulation

Self-Healing Wire Insulation image
September 7, 2016 | Source: Kennedy Space Center, technology.nasa.gov

NASA's Kennedy Space Center is seeking commercial partners for licensing or further development of a novel high performance, flexible, low-melt polyimide film with self-healing properties. The self-healing properties of the film are provided by embedded microcapsules containing a solvent soluble polyimide. When cut or otherwise damaged, these capsules release their contents which dissolve and heal the damaged area. Aerospace and ground vehicles often contain miles of high performance electrical wire insulation which are prone to damage from abrasion and cuts during vehicle operation and maintenance. Large portions of this wire are often buried within the vehicle framework, making it very difficult and time consuming to locate and repair damage. Incorporation of a self-healing capability in the insulation of this wire would provide self-repair of minor nicks, cuts, and abrasions without maintainer intervention and help reduce the danger of electrical shorts that could lead to sparking and fires.