Title page for ETD etd-05232006-141426

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Owen, Christopher Cooper
Author's Email Address owencc@vt.edu
URN etd-05232006-141426
Title Magnetic Induction for In-situ Healing of Polymeric Material
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Leo, Donald J. Committee Chair
Inman, Daniel J. Committee Member
Long, Timothy E. Committee Member
  • polymer healing
  • polymer induction heating
  • self-healing polymer
Date of Defense 2006-05-19
Availability restricted
The field of self-healing materials is growing dramatically due to the obvious in-

centive of having structural materials with the ability to repair damage. Some polymers

have demonstrated the ability to heal from damage autonomously[12, 26], when exposed to

heat[1], or when punctured[5, 9]. The goal of this research is to develop a “proof-of-concept”

polymer composite that has the ability to heal when exposed to an alternating magnetic


Several types of magnetic particulate were inspected for use in the production of

polymer composite test samples. The types of particulate used in sample production were

two supplies of gamma-Fe2O3, one supply of alpha-Fe2O3, and one supply of Ni-Zn Ferrite. Surlyn 8940 was selected as the bulk polymer due to its self-healing qualities[9]. A method for melt

mixing the particulate with the polymer in various volume fractions was developed and an

SEM was used to study the dispersion of the particulate.

Once the polymer composite samples were made, various tests were conducted to

characterize the samples in order to determine what effects the particulate had on the prop-

erties of the bulk polymer. These tests included differential scanning calorimetry (DSC),

rheology, conductivity, and magnetic response. Once the samples were characterized, tests

were performed to study the composite polymers ability to heat and heal. These tests

included healing microscopy, induction heating, and tensile testing.

From this study, it was found that the addition of particulate to the bulk polymer

does alter the properties by increasing viscosity and electrical conductivity. However, the

addition of particulate does not change the melt temperature, but allows the magnetic

hysteresis loop of each composite sample to be revealed through magnetic testing. Through

healing microscopy and tensile testing, the polymer composites were found to heal when

heated, but at a higher temperature than the pure bulk polymer samples. Each type of

polymer composite also heated to varying degrees through magnetic induction. Due to the

ability of the polymer composite to heal and heat, a “proof-of-concept” has been provided

for a magnetically healing polymer composite.

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