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Ionic Modification Turns Commercial Rubber into a Self-Healing Material

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20623-20630
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume7
Issue number37
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sep 2015
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Abstract

Invented by Charles Goodyear, chemical cross-linking of rubbers by sulfur vulcanization is the only method by which modern automobile tires are manufactured. The formation of these cross-linked network structures leads to highly elastic properties, which substantially reduces the viscous properties of these materials. Here, we describe a simple approach to converting commercially available and widely used bromobutyl rubber (BIIR) into a highly elastic material with extraordinary self-healing properties without using conventional cross-linking or vulcanising agents. Transformation of the bromine functionalities of BIIR into ionic imidazolium bromide groups results in the formation of reversible ionic associates that exhibit physical cross-linking ability. The reversibility of the ionic association facilitates the healing processes by temperature- or stress-induced rearrangements, thereby enabling a fully cut sample to retain its original properties after application of the self-healing process. Other mechanical properties, such as the elastic modulus, tensile strength, ductility, and hysteresis loss, were found to be superior to those of conventionally sulfur-cured BIIR. This simple and easy approach to preparing a commercial rubber with self-healing properties offers unique development opportunities in the field of highly engineered materials, such as tires, for which safety, performance, and longer fatigue life are crucial factors.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

Keywords

  • bromobutyl rubbers, elastomers, ionic associations, network structures, self-healing

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland