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J Am Chem Soc. 2012 May 9;134(18):7664-7. doi: 10.1021/ja302894k. Epub 2012 Apr 30.

Metal-catalyzed transesterification for healing and assembling of thermosets.

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Matière Molle et Chimie (UMR 7167 ESPCI-CNRS), Ecole Supérieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris ESPCI ParisTech, 10 rue Vauquelin, 75005 Paris, France.


Catalytic control of bond exchange reactions enables healing of cross-linked polymer materials under a wide range of conditions. The healing capability at high temperatures is demonstrated for epoxy-acid and epoxy-anhydride thermoset networks in the presence of transesterification catalysts. At lower temperatures, the exchange reactions are very sluggish, and the materials have properties of classical epoxy thermosets. Studies of model molecules confirmed that the healing kinetics is controlled by the transesterification reaction rate. The possibility of varying the catalyst concentration brings control and flexibility of welding and assembling of epoxy thermosets that do not exist for thermoplastics.


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