SELFNANOPUD aims at developing a new technology for the production of waterborne polyurethane dispersions for the creation of a new generation of coatings with self-healing properties. The design, synthesis and characterization of the innovative dispersions and their coatings will be realized, as well as the optimization of their properties and the scaling-up of their production at semi-industrial scale.
In recent years, self-healing coatings have been the subject of increasing research interest. The ability of such coatings to self-repair local damages caused by external forces is an important factor which contributes to their attractiveness and increasing demand. The process of self-healing of polymers is based on the dispersion of a catalyst and monomer-containing microcapsules into the polymeric matrix. Sufficiently large external stresses cause rupture of the microcapsules, releasing the monomer which diffuses through the polymer and eventually reaches a catalyst particle, causing the start of the polymerization reaction. The size and mechanical characteristics of the microcapsules constitute critical elements in controlling the self-healing process.
The successful implementation of the project will contribute to the replacement of solvent based with water based products with significant positive implications on the competitiveness and improvements in the production processes in terms of compliance with the environmental and technological requirements.
The main target of SELFNANOPUD is the synthesis of innovative waterborne polyurethane dispersions for the development of coatings with self-healing properties and increased resistance in corrosive conditions of various environments. This will be achieved through a series of individual goals as:
- Synthesis and characterization of waterborne polyurethane and modified hybrid dispersions based on the pre-polymer method.
- Synthesis and characterization of dispersions that will contain isophorone diisocyanate (IPDI) in micro/nano polyurethane capsules that will possess self-healing properties.
- Development of alternative materials with potential self-healing properties through the design and the synthesis of cross linkable surface functionalized copolymer nanoparticles and their subsequent incorporation into the polyurethane dispersions.
- Characterization of the developed polyurethane dispersions, the micro/nanostructures and the final coatings with regard to their morphology, their film forming properties, their surface, thermal, mechanical, chemical as well as their self-healing properties.
- Production in semi-industrial scale of the optimum dispersions and coatings.