Self-healing by local heating

Activation of self-healing processes in ionomeric elastomers by local heating

Universität zu Köln

An elegant way to restore the materials structural integrity proceeds by the selective heating of damaged areas to support polymeric chain movement, diffusion and particularly the new or re-formation of non-covalent chemical bonds. Especially reversible ionic interactions in ionomers along with clustering and the formation of multiplets are favoured. The incorporation of dipolar particles like metal/magnetic nanoparticles or charged species ("nano-hotspots") into the polymeric matrix leads in combination with a selective treatment in an oscillating electromagnetic field (OEMF) to a transformation of electromagnetic energy to heat. Goal of the present proposal will be the development and testing of elastomeric polymers modified with "nano-hotspots" that can selectively be heated by OEMF treatment. Additionally, the development of a reproducible method to quantify the OEMF-induced self-healing effectiveness of microsized damages will be a major objective of the planned work.