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A Microvascular System for the Autonomous Regeneration of Large Scale Damage in Polymeric Coatings

Self-healing polymers are capable of self-repair either in response to the damage or through external stimuli, but are limited in their ability to autonomously control the volume of healing agents released, in the length scale of damage they address, and in their ability to respond to multiple damage events. Here, the authors report a novel design for healing agent storage and release for vascular coating systems that allows for complete regeneration of a coating with precise and autonomous control of coating thickness. A variety of healing agent formulations that cure under ambient sunlight are explored and their cure profiles and mechanical properties are reported. In the proposed vascular coating system, the stored healing agent remains stable within the network until large-scale damage (e.g., abrasion) completely removes the protective coating. A precise volume within the network is then released, and cures when exposed to simulated sunlight to reform the protective coating. This coating system facilitates consistent coating thickness and hardness for several cycles of coating removal and regeneration.

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Copyright © 1999 – 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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