Polyurethanes have many properties that qualify them as high performance polymeric materials, but they still suffer from mechanical damage. We report the development of polyurethane networks that exhibit self-repairing characteristics upon exposure to ultraviolet light. The network consists of an oxetane-substituted chitosan precursor incorporated into a two-component polyurethane. Upon mechanical damage of the network, four-member oxetane rings open to create two reactive ends. When exposed to UV light, the chitosan chain scission occurs which form crosslinks with the reactive oxetane ends, thus repairing the network. These materials arc capable of repairing themselves in less than an hour and can be used in many coatings applications ranging from transportation to packaging or fashion and biomedical industries.
Upon mechanical damage and exposure to UV light these materials will self-repair within 30 min.