U.S. Department of Defense


Date of this Version



Published in Composites Science and Technology, 71, (2011), 586–592


Adhesion of the reinforcement to the polymer matrix is essential for load transfer from the polymer matrix to the reinforcement material in fiber-reinforced composites. The reversible Diels–Alder reaction between a furan-functionalized epoxy-amine thermosetting matrix with a maleimide-functionalized glass fiber was used to impart remendability at the polymer–glass interface for potential application in glass fiber-reinforced composites. At room temperature the Diels–Alder adduct is formed spontaneously and above 90 °C the adduct breaks apart to reform the original furan and maleimide moieties. Healing of the interface was investigated with single fiber microdroplet pull-out testing. Following complete failure of this interface, significant healing was observed, with some specimens recovering over 100% of the initial properties. Healing efficiency was not affected by the distance of displacement, with an overall average of 41% healing efficiency. Up to five healing cycles were successfully achieved. It is expected that a glass fiber-reinforced composite of maleimide-sized glass within a furan-functionalized network will demonstrate extension of fatigue life.