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Research ENTEG

Defence F. Orozco Gutierrez: "Self-healing polyketones and their implementation as electroactive soft actuators"

When:Tu 04-10-2022 14:30 - 15:30
Where:Aula Academy Building

Promotors: Ranjita K. Bose and Francesco Picchioni

Abstract: Thermo-reversibly crosslinked polymers (TRCPs) are quite attractive due to their self-healing capabilities and their reprocessability. In this thesis we explore this kind of materials using furan-grafted polyketones crosslinked with bismaleimide through the reversible Diels-Alder reaction. This polymer system was selected since it is remarkably easy and safe to work with. The research starts by studying intrinsic features of Diels-Alder-based TRCPs, such as the interplay of crosslinking density, network mobility, (de)crosslinking kinetics, and stereoisomerism (Chapter 2), and the side reactions that are likely to occur (Chapter 3). Then the focus is set on exploring these TRCPs as electroactive self-healing actuators by preparing them as composites with conductive fillers and exploiting the shape memory effect found in crosslinked polymers (Chapter 4). Here, especial attention is given to carbon nanotubes and carbon black and their role as conductive fillers is put to the test through a cost-performance evaluation (Chapter 5). Lastly, the self-healing material was implemented on a soft thermo-pneumatic gripper for soft robotic applications (Chapter 6).