On-demand debonding of adhesives through fast dynamic chemistries

01 November 2021 → 31 October 2025
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Chemical characterisation of materials
    • Synthesis of materials
    • Macromolecular and materials chemistry not elsewhere classified
    • Organic chemical synthesis
Debonding on-demand Thermoset adhesives Dynamic chemistries
Project description

Adhesives are omnipresent in a myriad of materials and continue to impact our daily lives, as recognised by the continuous global growth of the adhesive market. Yet, challenging times lie ahead. Indeed, the design of adhesives with switchable properties that allow for the formation of reversibly bonded joints is highly desired as it brings the attractive feature of facilitating the disassembly of components, their structural repair, removal and aid their recycling. The overarching aim of the current proposal is to develop two strategies that target the fast, on-demand debonding of three industrially relevant classes of polymer thermosetting adhesives, namely polyurethanes, acrylates and epoxy resins. This will be pursued either through the use of suitable reactive additives that can be activated to cleave the polymer backbone, or by exploiting reactive diluents in order to incorporate the desired dynamic covalent linkages within the polymer adhesive itself. Importantly, the targeted debonding strategies should be reliable, accessible at relatively low temperatures and acceptably fast (seconds to minutes). Specifically, our approaches rely on two in-house developed and industrially viable chemistry platforms that can be triggered to debond adhesives on-demand. The implementation of our proposed strategies is believed to constitute a key step in the future development of thermosetting adhesives, which would aid to address the societal challenge of material recycling.