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Metal Triflates as Novel Catalysts in Self-Healing FRP Composite Materials

This research focuses on the development and implementation of solid state metal triflate-based catalysts, for the ring-opening polymerisation (ROP) of epoxides, to facilitate self-healing functionality into fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials manufactured using pre-impregnated (pre-preg) materials.

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Developing a self-healing system to repair sub-surface structural micro-cracking in high performance FRP composite materials requires compatibility with the host matrix material and a high recovery of material properties. In this research we have demonstrated a system capable of full recovery of material properties with a low cure temperature, short cure duration, low cost and environmental stability. Implementation of bio-inspired microvascules facilitates the delivery of healing agent to the damage within the FRP composite structure.