The permeability and stability of microencapsulated epoxy resins
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- Yuan, L., Liang, G., Xie, J. et al. J Mater Sci (2007) 42: 4390. doi:10.1007/s10853-006-0606-6
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Microcapsules containing self-healing agents have been introduced into polymer to self-heal the microcracks and toughen the brittle matrix. Poly(urea–formaldehyde) (PUF) microcapsules containing epoxy resins are potential for the self-healing and toughening polymer. The resistance to medium surroundings of microcapsules is required. In the present study, PUF microcapsules containing epoxy resins were prepared by in situ polymerization. The effects of diameter, surface morphology and wall thickness on the permeability and stability of microcapsules in thermal and solvent surroundings were investigated. The morphology of microcapsule was investigated using optical microscope (OM), metalloscope (MS) and scanning electron microscope (SEM), respectively. The composition on the surface of microcapsule was analyzed by using energy dispersive analysis of X-ray (EDAX). The thermal properties of microcapsules were investigated using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetry analysis (TGA). The thermal permeability of core increases and the stability of microcapsule decreases with the enhancement of heating temperature mainly due to the expansion of epoxy resins below 251 °C and the decomposition of PUF above 251 °C. At room temperature, the permeability constants of core materials of microcapsules in acetone solvent are small and they are 1.20 × 10−3 m s−1, 1.39 × 10−3 m s−1 and 1.60 × 10−3 m s−1 corresponding to the microcapsules with diameters of 400 ± 50 μm, 230 ± 40 μm and 120 ± 30 μm. Increasing the surface smoothness, diameter and wall thickness can decrease the permeability and improve the stability of microcapsules in thermal and solvent surroundings.