Self-healing Epoxy Composite
PhD Student: Yinglun Hong
The main target of this project is to design epoxy composites which exhibit sensing ability, excellent mechanical strength, self-healing and shape memory features. The thermally responsive self-healing and shape memory epoxy vitrimer was presented by IK4-CIDETEC research centre. This epoxy exhibits fast stress relaxation above the glass transition temperature due to the aromatic disulphide exchange reactions. However, this material is not strong enough for load-bearing applications and cannot sense the environment (electrical and mechanical stimuli). In this project the approach will be divided into the following aspects:
- Testing the self-healing and self-shaping abilities of the epoxy resin. Improve the formulation of the epoxy to achieve better performance.
- Design polymer-ceramic composites with brick-and-mortar structure to enhance the mechanical strength of the epoxy resin. The micro alumina platelets will be employed to be the ceramic "bricks”. The mortar will be a mixture of graphene and epoxy. Graphene is added to form a conductive interconnected network. Therefore, the composite can respond to electrical stimuli. In this way the material can also monitor the formation of damage.
- The possibility of processing the composites by robocasting technique will be studied.