Materials with Molecular Healing Capabilities

The data in the graph below shows the molecular weight between crosslinks (Mc) determined via dynamic mechanical analysis.  In particular, an epoxy amine network was embedded with ‘smart material’ that responded during analysis at elevated temperatures to mediate thermally induced network degradation.  In the polymeric material, the embedded materials are released at particular temperature thresholds and bridge alternative functional groups, thereby crosslinking and healing thermal damage.  The data quantifies network connectivity and changes in connectivity as Mc.  Therefore, increasing Mc versus temperature as exhibited in the control sample data (dark blue) represents a continuous loss in network connectivity (thermal degradation) while the developmental materials with the embedded smart material for molecular healing(light blue) represents a network with higher crosslink density or decreasing Mc values for increasing connectivity.


Adaptive crosslink density compensating for thermal degradation.




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