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Thermochromic microcapsules with highly transparent shells obtained through in-situ polymerization of urea formaldehyde around thermochromic cores for smart wood coatings

Abstract

In this paper, thermochromic microcapsules were synthesized in situpolymerization with urea formaldehyde as shell material and thermochromic compounds as core material. The effects of emulsifying agent and conditions on surface morphology and particle size of microcapsules were studied. It was found that the size and surface morphology of microcapsules were strongly depending on stirring rate and the ratio of core to shell. The stable and small size spherical microcapsules with excellent transparency can be obtained at an emulsifying agent to core to shell ratio as 1:5:7.5 under mechanical stirring at 12 krpm for 15 min. Finally, the thermochromic property was discussed by loading microcapsules in wood and wood coatings. Results indicate that microcapsules can realize the thermochromic property while incorporated with wood and coatings, and could have high potential in smart material fabrication.

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