About this Research Topic
The key characteristic distinguishing thermoset from thermoplastic is the ability to flow. Covalent adaptable networks (CANs) are a class of materials able to modulate flow, bridging the difference between these traditional material classifications. The unique rheological behavior of CANs is controlled using triggers that include light, temperature, and chemical stimuli that dictate the dynamic exchange of permanent covalent crosslinks. This particular stimuli-responsiveness imparts reprocessability, recyclability, and enhanced toughness in CANs, which is not observed in traditional thermosets. Given the widespread implementation of thermosets in adhesives, coatings, composites, and additive manufacturing industries, CANs offer a promising avenue to address emerging demands for smart, high-performance, and sustainable polymer networks.
The first demonstration of dynamic bond exchange in polymer networks was reported in 2005 and since that time innovation has rapidly increased, leading to the development of Vitrimers (2011) and exploration of stress relaxation, optical activity, reprocessibility, and recyclability in dynamic polymer networks. Despite this growth, CANs have not yet earned widespread adoption in plastics and composites industries. Innovations in the chemistry and processing of CANs are still needed to obtain the cost-effective, scalable, and robust material properties required to replace incumbent thermosets in high-performance applications. Research exploring avenues to elevate CAN performance and processability in thermoset, elastomer, hydrogel, organogel and composite materials are needed to overcome this challenge.
The aim of the current Research Topic is to cover promising, recent, and novel research trends in the chemistry and processing of CAN/Vitrimer. Areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to:
• Development of dynamic covalent reactions in network polymers
• Novel characterization methods in composite, organogel, hydrogel, and bulk materials
• Dynamic, stimuli-responsive interfaces in composite materials
• Recyclable thermosets
• Application-specific development of materials and devices
• Additive manufacturing materials
Keywords: Covalent Adaptable Networks, Vitrimers, Thermoset, Polymer Chemistry, Composites, Recyclable Polymers
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