Dynamic Polymer Networks for On Demand Degradable Adhesives, Scaffolds, and Templates

James Oakdale | 21-FS-009

Project Overview

This feasibility study was motivated by a need for alternative mandrel materials to meet the next generation of inertial confinement fusion (ICF) ablator capsules. In response, a new polymer material based on reversible covalent bonds was proposed, with the objective to design thermosets to withstand elevated temperatures (140–200 degrees Celsius) while also being thermally degradable on-demand via controlled decomposition at temperatures above 200 degrees Celsius. A series of cyclopentadiene- (Cp-) containing thermosets were designed and synthesized to evaluate curing, reversibility, and degradability controlled via retro-Diels Alder reactions using Cp-cycloaddition adducts as crosslinks. Ultimately, the current iteration of materials and strategy pursued in this study was assessed as impractical for meeting the needs and objectives of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's target fabrication program.

Mission Impact

The materials described in this study were initially designed to meet needs within the Livermore target fabrication program. The targeted properties of the materials investigated in this feasibility study enable on-demand decomposition and endow the material with the ability to self-heal, enhance recyclability, and likely, facilitate three-dimensional printability. The materials-focused approach of this feasibility study directly supports the advanced materials and manufacturing core competency and addresses the tailored synthesis R&D priority. We anticipate materials developed in this study could find broader use within the Laboratory. For instance, initial lap-shear testing towards the end of this study suggested these materials could yield high-temperature responsive adhesives.