Polymer-based microparticles with tailored properties
Polymer-based microparticles offer a range of opportunities for an efficient application-oriented optimization of the functional properties of polymeric materials, electronic functional materials, delivery systems of agro-chemicals or drugs as well as additives for chemical and biotechnological processes, etc. This potential can only be fully realized if the particle production procedure is appropriately adjusted to the combination of the polymeric material type and the physical, chemical and biological properties of the active encapsulated component(s) according to the desired application. On the basis of the known structure-property relationships, the properties of polymeric capsule building material (the wall or the matrix material) can be designed according to the various chemical and thermodynamic processes involved in their production process. This can be done either by synthesis of new classes of polymers or by application-specific modification of the existing synthetic and natural polymers.
For example, it is possible to combine apparently contradictory properties in one material. A typical example of this are encapsulated additives for surface coating systems, which allow additional mechanical and/or functional properties of the material to be achieved (microencapsulated anti-corrosion agents, self-healing components, chemical sensors for wear and corrosion display, solutions for a controlled opening of the (sub)microcapsules for controlled release of the capsule content). For this application, small particles with carefully matched compatibility with the coating matrix are required. The mechanical properties and the surface chemistry of the particles have to be designed in such a way that they can be introduced into the coating system in a form of both solvent-based and aqueous dispersion, as well as mixed as a fine powder into the reactive or non-reactive powder coating systems.