Microcapsule-based systems for repair processes of highly conductive coatings

© Fraunhofer IPA

Microcapsule-based systems for repair processes of highly conductive coatings

A promising method for increasing reliability and extending the life cycle of „smart“ applications is microcapsule-based systems. The goal is to design surfaces with coating functions, that can be autonomously restored in case of damage without external intervention or post-treatment. This applies to conductivity in the form of carbon nanotubes (CNT) for example.

The researched principle is based on the interaction of material combinations, particularly on diffusion and mixing processes. The property of self-repairing on electrically conductive surfaces pertains to both their protective layer and their functional layer.

Layer structure. Left: intact layers; Middle: layer with damage in protective and functional layers; Right: layer after self-repairing process of the protective and functional layers.

Who does this technology particularly concern?

Microcapsule-based systems are particularly interesting for paint manufacturers, coating companies, as well as system-integrating suppliers to the automotive industry, aerospace or medical technology. But also in the field of energy storage and electronics, microcapsule-based systems for self-repairing properties, like for conductive traces, are conceivable and particularly promising.

Scope of services of Fraunhofer IPA in the field of microcapsule-based systems

The Functional Materials department has been involved for several years in process technologies for dispersing and subsequently processing suspensions and dispersions for functional layers and composite materials. The department's scope of services also includes the development of active components and the appropriate functionalization of materials to achieve the industry-desired properties and processes:

  • Processing of active components
  • Development of suitable functionalizations
  • Development of appropriate methods for processing microcapsules into existing formulations
  • Production of conductive layers
  • Conducting feasibility studies (Proofs of Principle)
  • Creation of prototypes to demonstrate functionality and effectiveness
  • Compilation of functional proofs
  • Scalability assessments

In a comprehensive chemical and process engineering laboratory, the researchers have access to a wide range of state-of-the-art equipment.

Ready for the next innovation? We are advancing the future of surfaces together with you as an industry partner and look forward to your inquiry.

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