One major challenge that has been facing material self healing is how to heal bigger macroscopic or structural scale damage autonomously, repeatedly, efficiently and at molecular length scale. Different approaches have been used to heal materials. However, none of them can heal macroscopic cracks.
Our research group has proposed a novel shape-memory polymer (SMP) based, bio-inspired Close-Then-Heal (CTH) scheme to heal macroscopic cracks in SMP matrix. The most recent development in our group is to use SMP fibers to heal conventional thermosetting polymers according to the CTH scheme. The aim of this study is to further investigate the effect of pre-tension of SMP fibers during the cold-drawing programming on the self-healing efficiency of the conventional thermosetting polymer composites. This was done by fabricating a composite with thermoplastic particles (polycaprolactone) dispersed in a thermosetting polymer matrix (Epon 828). Shape memory fiber pre-tensioned into 3 different groups of 0%, 50% and 100% prestrain, was also embedded into the composite in the longitudinal direction. In this composite, the shape memory effect of the shape memory fibers is utilized for sealing (closing) the cracks and the thermoplastic particles are used for molecular-length scale healing. In this study, 7% by volume of thermoplastic particles was used. Beam specimens were prepared and controlled structural length scale damage was created prior to curing by inserting an aluminum foil of designed thickness in a perpendicular direction to the shape memory fibers before the matrix was allowed to cure. The aluminum sheet was removed post cure to leave a controlled damage. The specimen was healed by fixing the two ends of the beam and heating the sample above the Tg of the shape memory fiber. The recovery force of the sample was recorded and then the beam was tested again to fracture. This fracture healing cycle lasted 7 times. The healing efficiency was evaluated per the peak-tensile load. The Ultrasonic C-scan and SEM were used to examine the healed cracks. It was found that the beams with 100% pre-strained fiber were able to recover repeatedly about 50% of its peak tensile strength; the beams with 50% pre-strained fiber, 43%; and the beams with un-stretched fibers were able to recover about 21% of its original peak tensile strength. Also it was found that the higher the pre-tension the higher the recovery stress seen during the healing cycle.
|Commitee:||Ibekwe, Samuel, Jerro, Dwayne|
|School:||Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College|
|Department:||Materials Science and Engineering (MEEN)|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||MAI 51/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mechanical engineering, Materials science, Plastics|
|Keywords:||CTH, SMP, Self healing, Shape memory fiber, Shape memory polymer, Thermoset polymers|
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