A method of preparing a malleable and/or self-healing polymeric or composite material is provided. The method includes providing a polymeric or composite material comprising at least one alkene-containing polymer, combining the polymer with at least one homogeneous or heterogeneous transition metal olefin metathesis catalyst to form a polymeric or composite material, and performing an olefin metathesis reaction on the polymer so as to form reversible carbon-carbon double bonds in the polymer. Also provided is a method of healing a fractured surface of a polymeric material. The method includes bringing a fractured surface of a first polymeric material into contact with a second polymeric material, and performing an olefin metathesis reaction in the presence of a transition metal olefin metathesis catalyst such that the first polymeric material forms reversible carbon-carbon double bonds with the second polymeric material. Compositions comprising malleable and/or self-healing polymeric or composite material are also provided.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with Government support under Grant No. DE-FG02-04ER46162, awarded by the Department of Energy. The U.S. Government has certain rights in this invention.