Novel self-healing network and toughening epoxy-novolac resin

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A novel bioresin can be beneficial from smart materials to toughen hybrid epoxy thermosets with potential applications in composites, adhesives, and surface coatings.
Poly(furfuryl alcohol) bioresin (PFA) was synthesised and utilised through two distinct alloying strategies. It was crosslinked by a bismaleimide (BMI) via Diels-Alder reaction.

Improved tensile properties

The PFA-BMI polyadduct network showed a high pyrolytic thermostability (char yield ∼51% at 600 °C). PFA was also used for modification of epoxy-novolac resin (EP). EP hybrid resins containing 5, 10, and 15 wt% of PFA were cured by a polyamine hardener. Despite of different curing mechanisms, PFA had no effect on EP curing behaviour. PFA at the composition of 15 wt% improved tensile properties and toughness of EP, so that it almost doubled tensile modulus and elongation at break. However, PFA slightly deteriorated flexural properties of EP. PFA also decreased Tg of EP, with a maximum decrease of 22 °C. Besides, PFA disfavored initial thermostability of EP, but improved its pyrolytic char yield.
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