Advanced Functional Materials

Cover image for Vol. 27 Issue 44

20_20/2010Self-healing Fibers: Autonomic Recovery of Fiber/Matrix Interfacial Bond Strength in a Model Composite (Adv. Funct. Mater. 20/2010)

Autonomic self-healing of interfacial damage in a model single-fiber composite is achieved through sequestration of ca. 1.5 μm diameter dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) healing-agent-filled capsules and recrystallized Grubbs’ catalyst to the fiber/matrix interface. When damage initiates at the fiber/matrix interface, the capsules on the fiber surface rupture, and healing agent is released into the crack plane where it contacts the catalyst, initiating polymerization. A protocol for characterizing the efficiency of interfacial healing for the single-fiber system is established. Interfacial shear strength (IFSS), a measure of the bond strength between the fiber and matrix, is evaluated for microbond specimens consisting of a single self-healing functionalized fiber embedded in a microdroplet of epoxy. The initial (virgin) IFSS is equivalent or enhanced by the addition of capsules and catalyst to the interface and up to 44% average recovery of IFSS is achieved in self-healing samples after full interfacial debonding. Examination of the fracture interfaces by scanning electron microscopy reveals further evidence of a polyDCPD film in self-healing samples. Recovery of IFSS is dictated by the bond strength of polyDCPD to the surrounding epoxy matrix.

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