Mechanical Force Sensitive Acrylic Latex Coating
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We prepared force sensitive acrylic latex coatings by covalently incorporating spiropyran mechanophore. The acrylic latexes were obtained through emulsion copolymerization of butyl acrylate (BA), methyl methacrylate (MMA) with vinyltriethoxysilane (VTES) as interparticle cross-linker, and (1'-(2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl)-3',3'-dimethylspiro[chromene-2,2'-indolin]-6-yl)methyl methacrylate) (SP) as intraparticle cross-linker. The latexes of P(BA-co-MMA-co-SP-co-VTES) were subsequently cast onto Teflon-coated surface to form latex coatings. The condensation of hydrolyzed VTES provided interparticle cross-linking and improved mechanical properties of the formed thin films. Intraparticle cross-linker SP endowed the coatings with mechanoreponsiveness. The mechanoactivation of SP-containing latex films was demonstrated. Increasing the content of intra-cross-linker SP resulted in higher stress sensitivity and lower critical stress required for mechanoactivation. Increasing the content of interparticle cross-linker VTES resulted in higher critical stress for SP mechanoactivation but had little effect on the stress sensitivity. Tg and operation temperature also showed significant effect on mechanoactivation. Slower strain rate allowed for higher SP-to-MC conversion. This work represents the first example of mechanochromic acrylic latexes and provides insight into the design of force sensitive and self-reporting polymer coatings.
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