Self-healing materials are able to partially or completely heal damage inflicted on them, e.g., crack formation; it is anticipated that the original functionality can be restored. This article covers the design and generic principles of self-healing materials through a wide range of different material classes including metals, ceramics, concrete, and polymers. Recent key developments and future challenges in the field of self-healing materials are summarised, and generic, fundamental material-independent principles and mechanism are discussed and evaluated.
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