Non-Catalytic Nanocomposite Based Self-Healing Material for Multifunctional Composite, Phase Idata.nasa.gov | Last Updated 29 Jan 2020
NASA seeks new materials and systems for the mitigation of structural damage, and new concepts for the activation of healing mechanisms to improve structural durability and enhance safe operation of aerospace structural systems. Nanotrons Corporation proposes to develop advanced multifunctional carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites with built-in non-catalytic nanocomposite-based self-healing microcapsules. The proposed self-healing approach integrates high performance functionalized carbon nanotube (CNT) nanofillers, reactive monomer solution, non-catalytic curing mechanism, and mass-production self-healing microcapsules. By uniformly dispersing these nanocomposite-based self-healing microcapsules throughout the CFRP composite matrix, self-healing multifunctional composite materials will be fabricated. The resulting materials should selectively repair the damaged areas at ambient conditions without catalysts. Nanotrons' proposed novel multifunctional CFRP composites could heal the damaged area over 90% of the original strength. Added benefits are that the addition of self-healing microcapsules will increase fracture toughness of the matrix polymer and the incorporated CNT nanofillers will improve electrical conductivity and EMI/RF shielding performance of the healed CFRP composites. These features are unattainable from existing systems. Nanotrons' proposed non-catalytic nanocomposite-based self-healing microcapsules embedded in multifunctional CFRP composites can be economically scaled up for manufacture. This Phase I program will demonstrate the feasibility of our proposed self-healing approach.