To provide self-healing ability to polyurethane elastomer, alkoxyamine-based diol was synthesized and reacted with tri-functional homopolymer of hexamethylene diisocyanate (tri-HDI) and polyethylene glycol (PEG). Because alkoxyamines acted as crosslinkers of the resultant polyurethane, the thermally reversible fission/recombination of C–ON bonds in alkoxyamine moieties enabled repeated crosslinking and de-crosslinking of polyurethane chains at certain temperature and hence crack healing. Both qualitative and quantitative characterizations demonstrated that the reversibly crosslinked polyurethane was capable of re-bonding ruptured parts and restoring mechanical strength. The remendability was a function of molecular structure and compositions of the components, which can be purposely tuned according to different application demands.

This paper was originally published in Polymer 55 (2014) Pages 1782 - 1791

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