Researchers from the U.S. Navy and Johns Hopkins University are developing a powder that would allow regular paint to turn into self-healing paint. The powder gives scratched or chipped paint the ability to heal itself much like human skin.
The powder, known as ‘polyfibroblast,' contains microscopic polymer spheres that contain an oily resin. When the powder is applied to the paint, the spheres rupture and release their oily resin. That resin then forms a waxy, water-repellent coat that protects the exposed steel from the elements, essentially ‘healing’ the outer layer of paint.
The polyfibroblast primer is not the first self-healing agent, but it is unique in that it is aimed purely at protecting military vehicles in harsh environments, unlike other products more concerned with maintaining the appearance and aesthetics of vehicles
Corrosion costs the Navy approximately $7 billion every year in repairs and maintenance, prompting the Navy to look into ways to keep military vehicles from rusting.