Healable Composites

CEAM is developing a fiber-reinforced composite capable of internally repairing microcrack damage. Highly cross-linked polymer matrices commonly used in fiber composites are known for their tendency to crack within the polymer regions of the material. The cracks are often among the first forms of mechanical damage in fiber-reinforced polymer composites. We are working to incorporate a novel polymer originally developed in the Wudl Research Group at UCLA. The polymer’s chemistry is such that damage in the form of broken covalent bonds within the polymer structure may be repaired through application of heat to initiate a retro Diels-Alder repair mechanism.  This polymer will serve as the matrix phase of the composite.

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