Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Recipe For Self-healing Plastic Includes Dash Of Food Additive

Date:
October 16, 2008
Source:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
Adding a food additive to damaged polymers can help restore them to full strength, say scientists at the University of Illinois who cooked up the novel, self-healing system.

Adding a food additive to damaged polymers can help restore them to full strength, say scientists at the University of Illinois who cooked up the novel, self-healing system.

Related Articles


The repair process, in which solvent-filled microcapsules embedded in an epoxy matrix rupture when a crack forms, is a major improvement over the original self-healing process first described in February 2001.

"While our previous solvent worked well for healing, it was also toxic," said Scott White, a professor of aerospace engineering and a researcher at the university's Beckman Institute. "Our new solvent is both non-toxic and less expensive."

During normal use, epoxy-based materials experience stresses that can cause cracking, which can lead to mechanical failure. Autonomic self-healing – a process in which the damage itself triggers the repair mechanism – can retain structural integrity and extend the lifetime of the material.

Designed to mimic the human body's ability to repair wounds, self-healing materials release a healing agent into the crack plane when damaged, and through chemical and physical processes, restore the material's initial fracture properties.

In November 2007, White and collaborators reported the use of chlorobenzene, a common – but toxic – organic solvent, which in epoxy resins achieved a healing efficiency of up to 82 percent.

In their latest work, which combined a non-toxic and Kosher-certified food additive (ethyl phenylactate) and an unreacted epoxy monomer into microcapsules as small as 150 microns in diameter, the researchers achieved a healing efficiency of 100 percent.

"Previously, the microcapsules contained only solvent, which flowed into the crack and allowed some of the unreacted matrix material to become mobile, react and repair the damage," said graduate research assistant Mary Caruso. "By including a tiny amount of unreacted epoxy monomer with the solvent in the microcapsules, we can provide additional chemical reactivity to repair the material."

When the epoxy monomer enters the crack plane, it bonds with material in the matrix to coat the crack and regain structural properties. In tests, the solvent-epoxy monomer combination was able to recover 100 percent of a material's virgin strength after damage had occurred.

"This work helps move self-healing materials from the lab and into everyday applications," said graduate research assistant Benjamin Blaiszik. "We've only begun to scratch the surface of potential applications using encapsulated solvent and epoxy resin."

In addition to White, Caruso and Blaiszik, the other co-authors of the paper were materials science and engineering professor Nancy Sottos and chemistry professor Jeffrey Moore. The researchers reported their findings in the scientific journal Advanced Functional Materials.

The work was supported by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the U.S. Department of Defense. Some of the work was performed at the university's Center for Microanalysis of Materials, which is partially supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "New Recipe For Self-healing Plastic Includes Dash Of Food Additive." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081015110242.htm>.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2008, October 16). New Recipe For Self-healing Plastic Includes Dash Of Food Additive. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081015110242.htm
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "New Recipe For Self-healing Plastic Includes Dash Of Food Additive." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081015110242.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Sony Hopes To Make Any Glasses 'Smart'

How Sony Hopes To Make Any Glasses 'Smart'

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Sony's glasses module attaches to the temples of various eye- and sunglasses to add a display and wireless connectivity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Los Angeles Police To Receive 7,000 Body Cameras

Los Angeles Police To Receive 7,000 Body Cameras

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the cameras will be distributed starting Jan. 1. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jaguar Unveils 360 Virtual Windshield Making Car Pillars Appear Transparent

Jaguar Unveils 360 Virtual Windshield Making Car Pillars Appear Transparent

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Jaguar unveils a virtual 360 degree windshield that may be the most futuristic automotive development yet. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) Stanford University wants to unlock the secrets of the player piano. Researchers are restoring and studying self-playing pianos and the music rolls that recorded major composers performing their own work. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins