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Addressing Recycling Issues with 'Self-Healing' Polymers

SpecialChem / Jul 21, 2009

Unlike thermoplastics, thermosetting resins cannot be melted or reshaped because on heating their thermal decomposition and degradation occurs. Though they are widely used in a variety of applications (such as adhesives, coatings and polymer composites), thermoset-based products, especially composites, are formulated with various additives such as fillers & fibrous reinforcements, which result in complex mixtures that are difficult or impossible to separate. Thus, a monumental chunk ends up in landfills, due to the lack of recycling technologies for thermosetting resins. Introducing "Self-healing" properties to polymeric systems can address the situation in hand and could also extend the lifetime use of various polymeric products.

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