Synthesis of nanosensors for autonomous warning of damage and self-repairing in polymeric coatings
Polymeric materials are susceptible to small damage which is undetectable. Without timely and effective repair treatment, the damage may deteriorate the integrity of materials and ultimately result in the material failure and catastrophe. Autonomous warning and repairing the damage simultaneously is of great practical significance yet difficult to realize. Herein, we introduce a smart coating with autonomous warning of and repairing damage by simple incorporating nanosensors embedded with phenanthroline as a corrosion indicator and inhibitor. The electrochemical corrosion resulting from coating damage can be rapidly warned by a prominent orange red color in just five minutes. Accompanied with the warning function, the smart coating exhibits efficient repairing performance on defected region, as reflected from the disappearance of electrochemical admittance peak. This simple and powerful strategy dependent on single active component to achieve autonomous warning and repairing effect is highly expected to provide a new avenue for enhancing the security and longevity of other polymeric materials.