Micron sized gel particles (microgel) are a new type of material that can be used as an “active” part of a self-healing coating system. Application of microgels is very advantageous, since they combine the attractive properties of both solids and liquids. The solid state of the particles, provided by a cross-linked polymer network, ensures good mechanical stability of the resulting coating system. The liquid corrosion inhibitor, being entrapped in the solid matrix, retains its mobility, providing the coating system with self-healing capabilities. The synthesis route of the microgel is comparatively easy and can be realized via a one-pot process, which makes the whole approach very promising for application in “real” systems. Superior corrosion protection of the resulting self-healing system containing synthesized microgel particles as an “active” part in comparison to the original coating was demonstrated by means of the scanning vibrating electrode technique and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.
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