Thakare places third in Research Live! for self-healing coatings
MechSE PhD candidate Dhawal Thakare won third place in the Graduate College’s Research Live! competition last week.
His presentation, “Self-Healing Coatings: The Future of Smart Materials,” focused on his research in the development of smart coating systems that can autonomously react to stimuli in the environment to repair and prevent any further damage.
These self-healing and self-protective coatings have microcapsules that have been engineered to hold a healing or anticorrosive agent. When the coating is damaged, these microcapsules release the agent to heal and prevent further damage. So far, the coatings have been engineered to respond to mechanical damage, but Thakare is currently working on developing special microcapsules that respond to chemical stimuli in the environment.
“The current phase of my research focuses on making these coatings react to specific stimuli from their surrounding environment. For instance, when there is corrosion the surrounding medium becomes acidic in nature, so I am developing these special microcapsules that can release their healing agents in response to pH instead of mechanical damage,” said Thakare, who is co-advised by MechSE associate professor Randy Ewoldt and MatSE professor Nancy Sottos.
Research Live! is a competition in which graduate students across the university showcase their research through a brief, three-minute presentation, helping them develop their presentation skills and offering a cash prize to the winners.