The most common approach for incorporation of extrinsic self-healing functionality relies on introducing healant-loaded micro-containers in the polymeric formulation. In this context, a healing system based on encapsulated epoxy resin and amine hardener appears to be one of the most economically viable solutions, in view of the chemical as well as mechanical compatibility with the matrix. Encapsulation of epoxy resins has been extensively studied while the high reactivity of the amine hardener renders its encapsulation rather difficult and has been attempted with only modest success. The purpose of the present work is to adopt an interfacial polymerization approach for the preparation of epoxy microcapsules encapsulating a reactive amine hardener (triethylene tetramine). The effects of experimental parameters, including reaction temperature, stirring speed and epoxy/amine concentration ratio on the microcapsule formation were investigated. A polymeric surfactant was used to stabilize the suspension to modulate the particle size distribution of the resultant microcapsules. The highest encapsulation efficiencies were obtained when the reaction medium was maintained at 70 °C under stirring (600 rpm) at epoxy/amine ratio of 10/3.2. The microcapsule dimensions and core content could be tailored, following this encapsulation approach of interfacial polymerisation. Under optimal conditions, spherical microcapsules with 100% yield and 12% core content were obtained.
Iranian Polymer Journal – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 7, 2017
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