Early damage detection in epoxy matrix using cyclobutane-based polymers

Jin Zou, Yingtao Liu, Bohan Shan, Aditi Chattopadhyay, Lenore Dai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Identification of early damage in polymer composites is of great importance. We have incorporated cyclobutane-containing cross-linked polymers into an epoxy matrix, studied the effect on thermal and mechanical properties, and, more importantly, demonstrated early damage detection through mechanically induced fluorescence generation. Two cinnamate derivatives, 1,1,1- tris(cinnamoyloxymethyl) ethane (TCE) and poly(vinyl cinnamate) (PVCi), were photoirradiated to produce cyclobutane-containing polymer. The effects on the thermal and mechanical properties with the addition of cyclobutane-containing polymer into epoxy matrix were investigated. The emergence of cracks was detected by fluorescence at a strain level just beyond the yield point of the polymer blends, and the fluorescence intensified with accumulation of strain. Overall, the results show that damage can be detected through fluorescence generation along crack propagation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number095038
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • crack sensor
  • cyclobutane
  • stress-strain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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