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30 March 2010 Characterization of healable polymers
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Materials with an internal mechanism for damage repair would be valuable in isolated environments where access is difficult or impossible. Current work is focused on characterizing neat polymers with reformable cross-linking bonds. These bonds are thermally reversible, the result of a Diels-Alder cycloaddition between furan and maleimide monomers. Candidate polymers are examined using modulated differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) to confirm the presence of reversible bonding. One polymer, 2MEP3FT, was expected to have these bonds, but none were observed. A second polymer, 2MEP4FS, with a modified furan monomer does exhibit reversible bonding. Further DSC testing and dynamic mechanical thermal analyses (DMA) are conducted to determine material properties such as glass transition temperature, storage modulus and quality of the polymerization. Healing efficiency is established using the double cleavage drilled compression (DCDC) fracture test. A column of material with a central hole is subjected to axial compression, driving cracks up and down the sample. After unloading, the cracks are healed, and the sample is retested. Comparing the results gives a quantitative evaluation of healing.
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C. Nielsen, Or Weizman, and Sia Nemat-Nasser "Characterization of healable polymers", Proc. SPIE 7644, Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2010, 76441B (30 March 2010);

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