Multifunctional Thermoset Polymer Matrix with Self-Sensing and Self-Healing Capabilities

Project: Research project

Project Details


Multifunctional Thermoset Polymer Matrix with Self-Sensing and Self-Healing Capabilities Multifunctional Thermoset Polymer Matrix with Self-Sensing and Self-Healing Capabilities A novel self-sensing/self-healing framework for identifying damage precursors and reversing in situ damage by utilizing unique stress-sensing mechanophores is proposed. The proposed methodology investigates the self-sensing and self-healing capabilities from the perspective of designing novel polymeric materials with improved properties by integrating the proposed mechanophore molecules into polymer molecule backbones. The goal is to advance our understanding of the mechanochemistry of polymers and design polymeric materials with unprecedented properties. The designed polymer matrix system will be used to monitor damage initiation and progression in thermoset polymers. Throughout the project, methodological developments will be steered by a closed-loop design and validation plan that incorporates both experimental and computational modeling approaches to understand the underlying physics of the proposed self-sensing and self-healing functionalities. The project will include the following innovative/unique aspects: (i) The proposed mechanophores molecule structures are multifunctional: (ii) The novel synthesis route enables versatility which provides platforms for various applications; (iii) The proposed novel matrix system has extraordinary mechanical properties as well as the self-sensing and self-healing functions; (iv) The proposed modeling approach will provide information to guide the mechanophore design and optimization; (v) The closed-loop integration of experimental and modeling approaches will lead to thermoset polymers with superior properties. The experimentally and computationally integrated transformative research will improve the understanding of damage and failure in polymeric material, enhancing confidence in their structural safety, and reducing the probability of failures. The proposed fundamental research is a positive step towards attaining the Armys vision of developing paradigm shifting materials and sensing capabilities for next generation weapon systems, protective armors, air, and ground vehicles. The proposed project is organized into three tasks, spanning a period of 3 years: (1) Experimental Study of Cycloalkane-Functional Mechanophores; (2) Hybrid Molecular Dynamics Framework and Sensitivity Analysis; (3) Integration of Experiments and Simulation. The proposal describes advances sought and approaches to be taken in each of these task areas. To ensure Army relevance, the team at ASU will collaborate with researchers at ARL to optimize our understanding of crucial challenges associated with the use of novel multifunctional thermoset polymers in Army applications, the use of test data, and the likelihood of transitioning results from the project into DoD practice. The teams multidisciplinary research experience, coupled with ongoing outreach activities, will generate concrete outreach plans such as internships (e.g.; Army URAP program) and summer research at ARL with emphasis on minority populations that are underrepresented in engineering. Undergraduate Research Opportunity in Understanding the Molecular Mechanisms of Self-Sensing Polymers Undergraduate Research Opportunity in Self-Sensing Polymeric Composites High School and Undergraduate Research Opportunity in Implementation of Early Stage Damage Detection in Advanced Polymeric Composites
Effective start/end date1/19/154/24/19


  • DOD-ARMY-ARL: Army Research Office (ARO): $536,606.00


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