PREPARATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF A SELF-HEALING POLYMERIC COATING SYSTEM BASED ON IONIC LIQUIDS

Joonsung Yoon and Christopher M. Stafford

Polymers Division, Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899

Interests in sustainable and renewable polymeric materials have increased rapidly in the recent past as fossil fuel resources dwindle. Most of the current “self-healing” materials, however, require special ingredients such as a catalyst and additional monomer combined with delivery vehicles such as encapsulation. We will demonstrate in the presentation that simple mixtures of polar polymers (e.g., polyvinyl alcohol) and low-melting ionic salts (e.g., 1-ethylpyridinium bromide) have a great potential for thermally re-mendable coating applications. Our initial results indicate that such mixtures show highly depressed Tg (which allows for flow by mild heating), negligible crystallinity (which eliminates thermal barrier for reversible process) and highly elastic properties akin to cross-linked polymers (which is the basis of superior mechanical properties). Optical micrographs from scratched films before/after mild thermal treatment will be presented for visual demonstration and further characterization plans will be discussed.