Temperature Scanning Stress Relaxation of an Autonomous Self-Healing Elastomer Containing Non-Covalent Reversible Network Junctions
In this work, we report about the mechanical relaxation characteristics of an intrinsically self-healable imidazole modified commercial rubber. This kind of self-healing rubber was prepared by melt mixing of 1-butyl imidazole with bromo-butyl rubber (bromine modified isoprene-isobutylene copolymer, BIIR). By this melt mixing process, the reactive allylic bromine of bromo-butyl rubber was converted into imidazole bromide salt. The resulting development of an ionic character to the polymer backbone leads to an ionic association of the groups which ultimately results to the formation of a network structure of the rubber chains. The modified BIIR thus behaves like a robust crosslinked rubber and shows unusual self-healing properties. The non-covalent reversible network has been studied in detail with respect to stress relaxation experiments, scanning electron microscopic and X-ray scattering.