Fluorinated vitrimers and healable polymers

01 January 2018 → Ongoing
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
No data available
healable polymers
Project description

Fluoropolymers are widely known to the public as water repellant membranes in jackets or
outdoor clothing as well as low friction coatings in cookware. However, the tremendous efforts
required for creating those exceptional materials in shape and onto the desired substrates remains
unnoticed. This provided a target for the project therefore, among other things, to facilitate the
processability of fluorinated elastomers.
Elastomers, as synthetic rubbers, are known to be permanently and irreversibly crosslinked. We
will use a novel strategy of using reversible crosslinking points to enhance processability,
implement healing properties and possibly even allow reprocessing, or reshaping of the
fluorinated materials.
Therefore, two main approaches will be followed. One approach will deal with dynamic, elastic
fluorinated materials with gradually increasing flow that might enable applications in as adhesives
or for areas in which welding is required. In a second approach we will make use of reversible
chemistry that provides a certain viscosity drop for enhanced coatability, e.g. on textiles where
penetration of the substrate cannot be met with currently available fluoropolymers. Above all, a
thorough characterization will be performed and related to various defined fluorinated content in
order to use as little fluorinated polymer as possible for targeted properties, such as water
resistance, and hence limiting cost while enhancing the scope of fluoropolymers’ applicability.