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Investigation of Novel Catalysts for Use in Self-Healing Polymers

This work involves studying the capacity of various catalytic curing agents to initiate healing in neat polymer and fibre-reinforced polymer specimens.

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Preliminary catalyst screening and thermal analysis by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) is followed by coupon testing. Promising healing agents are dispersed within tapered double cantilever beam (TDCB) test specimens for analysis of thermally induced healing.

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Resin delivery is achieved by manual injection and inclusion of poly(urea formaldehyde) microcapsules containing epoxy monomer within the TDCB trenches.