Urushiol as excellent raw material for self-healing coatings

A recently conducted work suggests the fabrication of mechanically robust urushiol-based polymer coatings with excellent self-healing property and hydrophobicity.

Poison ivy.
Urushiol is an oily mixture of organic compounds with allergenic properties found in plants of the family Anacardiaceae (e.g. poison ivy). Image source: leoleobobeo - Pixabay (symbol image).

It is of great significance yet challenging to develop functional polymer coatings possessing highly efficient self-healing performances and robust mechanical properties simultaneously. To this end, a novel strategy was proposed for the fabrication of self-healing urushiol-based coatings based on Diels-Alder (DA) bond. Natural urushiol was firstly modified by using epichlorohydrin and furfuryl alcohol, and then crosslinked by N,N′-(4,4′-methylenediphenyl) dimaleimide (BMI) via DA bond to obtain the thermally reversible and self-healing bio-based coating.

Excellent raw material

The synthesised products were characterised, and their thermostabilities, physico-mechanical properties, thermal reversible and self-healing performances were investigated in detail. The results showed that the ratio of urushiol furan derivative to bismaleimide had a significant effect on the studied properties of the self-healing coatings. The self-healing efficiency, hardness, contact angle of the as-prepared coating after formulation optimization can reach 83.22 %, 5H and 109.6°, respectively. According to the researchers, their work suggests that natural urushiol is a kind of potential excellent raw material for preparing self-healing coatings, and also provides a simple and efficient way to fabricate bio-based self-healing coatings with robust hardness and good hydrophobic characteristic.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 174, January 2023.

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