The Microencapsulation of Tung Oil with a Natural Hydrocolloid Emulsifier for Extrinsic Self-Healing Applications

Polymers (Basel). 2022 May 7;14(9):1907. doi: 10.3390/polym14091907.


In this work, tung oil was utilised as a catalyst-free self-healing agent, and an in-situ polymerization process was applied to encapsulate the tung oil core with a poly(urea-formaldehyde) (PUF) shell. The conventional poly(ethylene-alt-maleic-anhydride) (PEMA) polymer was compared to a more naturally abundant gelatin (GEL) emulsifier to compare the microcapsules’ barrier, morphological, thermal, and chemical properties, and the crystalline nature of the shell material. GEL emulsifiers produced microcapsules with a higher payload (96.5%), yield (28.9%), and encapsulation efficiency (61.7%) compared to PEMA (90.8%, 28.6% and 52.6%, respectively). Optical and electron microscopy imaging indicated a more uniform morphology for the GEL samples. The thermal decomposition measurements indicated that GEL decomposed to a value 7% lower than that of PEMA, which was suggested to be attributed to the much thinner shell materials that the GEL samples produced. An innovative and novel focused ion beam (FIB) milling method was exerted on the GEL sample, confirming the storage and release of the active tung oil material upon rupturing. The samples with GEL conveyed a higher healing efficiency of 91%, compared to PEMA’s 63%, and the GEL samples also conveyed higher levels of corrosion resistance.

PMID:35567076 | PMC:PMC9103524 | DOI:10.3390/polym14091907


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