Resistive heating for self-healing materials based on ionomeric polymers
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Self-healing materials have received considerable development in the last decade. Recent results have demonstrated healing in polymeric materials via a chemical reaction using a healing agent or response to thermal treatment. The goal of this research is to develop a new composite material, for application in wire insulation, that can detect damage and heal itself using resistance heating. The composite material is composed of a conductive network embedded in a polymer matrix. The conductive network is used for damage detection and resistive heating. A matrix material is used that melts when heated and flows to fill damage. External electronic circuitry is used to implement a damage detection algorithm and apply current for resistive heating. Surlyn 8940 is chosen as the polymer matrix and carbon fibers are selected for the resistive heating elements. Methods for melt processing Surlyn are developed and used to produce Surlyn films and composite samples where carbon fiber is embedded in a Surlyn matrix. A finite element model of the resistive heating process is developed to predict the temperature distribution. Thermal imaging is used to characterize resistive heating while optical microscopy and tensile testing are used to characterize healing. Damage detection using capacitive measurements is demonstrated and characterized. The self-healing composite is placed on top of another conductive material such as in the wire insulation application. Capacitance measurements are made using the conductive network inside the composite is used as one electrode and the wide conductor as the second electrode.
- Masters Theses