Article

Preparation and characterization of microencapsulated polythiol

Key Laboratory for Polymeric Composite and Functional Materials of Ministry of Education, OFCM Institute, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Zhongshan University, Guangzhou 510275, PR China; Materials Science Institute, Zhongshan University, Guangzhou 510275, PR China
Polymer 01/2008; DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2008.03.044

ABSTRACT Microcapsules containing curing agent for epoxy were successfully prepared by in situ polymerization with poly(melamine–formaldehyde) (PMF) as the shell material and high-activity polythiol (pentaerythritol tetrakis (3-mercaptopropionate), PETMP) as the core substance. Having been encapsulated, the core material PETMP had the same activity as its raw version. The synthesis approach was so improved that the consumption of polythiol was reduced to a low level. By carefully analyzing the influencing factors including catalyst concentration, reaction time, reaction temperature, feeding weight ratio of core/shell monomers, dispersion rate and emulsifier content, the optimum synthetic conditions were found out. The results indicated that not only core content and size of the microcapsules but also thickness and strength of the shell wall can be readily adjusted by the proposed technical route. The relatively thin shell wall (∼0.2 μm) assured sufficient core content even if the microcapsules were very small (1–10 μm). The polythiol-loaded microcapsules proved to be qualified for acting as the mate of epoxy in making two-part microencapsulated healing agent of self-healing composites.

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