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Self-Wrinkling Coating for Impact Resistance and Mechanical Enhancement

New coating was fabricated using the same approach as conventional photo-curing coatings

by Science China Press
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Polymer coating is widely used as a protective layer in various fields such as surface anti-corrosion, anti-penetration, and anti-impact. How to enhance the mechanical properties of coatings such as impact resistance is important but challenging, under the condition of the existing materials systems and processes.    

Inspired by natural organisms’ bottom-up fabrication and energy dissipation mechanisms, researchers considered four critical factors in material design (chemical composition, nano/microstructure, architecture, and manufacturing techniques). They developed a self-wrinkled photo-curing coating, comprising a microphase-separated structure with a gradient cross-linked architecture, as protective materials. The self-wrinkled surface morphology induced by photo-polymerization and the intrinsic gradient architecture generated by gradient cross-linked polymer networks are critical factors for energy dissipation and impact resistance of the cured coating, providing mechanically enhanced characteristics, which was verified both theoretically and experimentally.

Comparing with the highly sophisticated tools, i.e., molding, nano-/micro-imprinting, laser ablation, and soft lithography, this self-wrinkled coating was fabricated through the same one-step approach as the conventional photo-curing coating, opening up new possibilities for photo-curing coatings.

- This press release was originally published on the Science China Press website