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Exploiting thermally-reversible chemistry for controlling the crosslinking of polymer networks

Budd, M. E. (2016) Exploiting thermally-reversible chemistry for controlling the crosslinking of polymer networks. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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High explosives are highly sensitive to accidental detonation by impact, fire, shrapnel and small arms fire. This sensitivity can be reduced by storing the energetic material within a rubbery polymer matrix and are known as plastic bonded explosives (PBX). The current procedure used to manufacture PBX involves mixing the energetic material with a hydroxy-functionalised aliphatic polymer. Upon the addition of an isocyanate crosslinker an immediate polymerisation occurs and thus the rapidly curing mixture must be used to fill the missile or shells, referred to as ‘stores’. This process can lead to poor distribution of the crosslinker resulting in the formation of an inhomogeneously crosslinked matrix and the formation of voids. One solution to this problem involves containing the crosslinker within polyurethane microcapsules that are uniformly dispersed in the explosive-polymer mixture. Upon the application of a stimulus the crosslinker can be released from the microcapsules and the formation of a uniformly crosslinked PBX achieved. Herein is reported the design and synthesis of polyurethane microcapsules that release isocyanate crosslinkers when desired using a thermal stimulus. This has been achieved by exploiting the thermally-reversible nature of oxime-urethane and Diels-Alder adducts that have been incorporated into the shell wall of the microcapsules. An alternative approach to controlling the polymerisation of PBX materials has also been achieved using thermally-reversible blocked isocyanates that regenerate the isocyanate crosslinker when exposed to heat.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Hayes, W.
Thesis/Report Department:Department of Chemistry
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Chemistry
ID Code:63177


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