Smart nanogel capsules are attracting great attention to act as self-healing materials for polymers and epoxy coating and as anticorrosion materials. The present work aimed at incorporating nanogel among silicate layers of sodium montmorillonite (Na-MMT) to increase its dispersibility into an epoxy matrix so as to be used as self-healing nanocomposites. For this purpose, N-isopropyl acrylamide (NIPAm) as a salt-sensitive monomer was selected to prepare smart nanogels to disperse the Na-MMT layers. The chemical structure, surface morphology, particle size distribution, surface charge, and degree of exfoliation of Na-MMT with NIPAm nanogel were investigated. The ability of Na-MMT/NIPAm to modify the mechanical, surface, and self-healing characteristics of epoxy matrix was studied. The corrosion inhibition and self-healing mechanism were discussed in light of salt spray resistance of epoxy nanocomposites to protect steel from corrosive environments.

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Journal of Coatings Technology and Research

pp 1–12

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