A novel and facile strategy was proposed to construct a thermosetting/thermoplastic system with both shape memory and self-healing properties based on commercial epoxy resin and poly(epsilon-caprolactone)-PCL. Thermoplastic material is capable of re-structuring and changing the stiffness/modulus when the temperature is above melting temperature. PCL microfiber was used as a plasticizer in epoxy resin–based blends, and served as a 'hard segment' to fix a temporary shape of the composites during shape memory cycles. In this study, the electrospun PCL membrane with a porous network structure enabled a homogenous PCL fibrous distribution and optimized interaction between fiber and epoxy resin. The self-healing capability is achieved by phase transition during curing of the composites. The mechanism of the shape memory effect of the thermosetting (rubber)/thermoplastic composite is attributed to the structural design of the thermoplastic network inside the thermosetting resin/rubber matrix.
|Journal||Smart Materials and Structures|
|Early online date||4 Dec 2015|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2016|