Robust synthesis of epoxy resin-filled microcapsules for application to self-healing materials

Patryk A. Bolimowski, Ian P. Bond, Duncan F. Wass*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
302 Downloads (Pure)


Mechanically and thermally robust microcapsules containing diglycidyl ether bisphenol A-based epoxy resin and a high-boiling-point organic solvent were synthesized in high yield using in situ polymerization of urea and formaldehyde in an oil-in-water emulsion. Microcapsules were characterized in terms of their size and size distribution, shell surface morphology and thermal resistance to the curing cycles of commercially used epoxy polymers. The size distribution of the capsules and characteristics such as shell thickness can be controlled by the specific parameters of microencapsulation, including concentrations of reagents, stirrer speed and sonication. Selected microcapsules, and separated core and shell materials, were analysed using thermogravimetric analysis and differential scanning calorimetry. It is demonstrated that capsules lose minimal 2.5 wt% at temperatures no higher than 120°C. These microcapsules can be applied to self-healing carbon fibre composite structural materials, with preliminary results showing promising performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20150083
Number of pages13
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2061
Early online date11 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2016


  • Carbon fibre composites
  • Catalysis
  • Microcapsules
  • Self-healing materials

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