LEUGOS X-Link derives from the observation that, despite tremendous effort in the field, there are today no materials having the properties of thermosets or reactive resins and also being biodegradable or degradable on demand. On the other hand, there are many open applications where these resins are crucial. By “open applications” is meant applications in contact with the environment, mostly through the water cycle. These applications encompass hard surface coatings, foams, structural adhesives, and microcapsules.
Thermoset and reactive resins having low permeability and good mechanical resistance are usually highly cross-linked and this feature is obviously detrimental to (bio) degradability. How to make these two features compatible is the main challenge of the program. Possible strategies exist, however, based on chemical structure, morphology control and catalysis.
The scope of LEUGOS X-Link is therefore to identify and develop resin technologies that can be applied in more than one application area. The models are the polyisocyanate value chain and the aminoplast value chain, where generic reactive pre-polymers or pre-condensates fulfil a broad range of requirements, e.g. from dry to wet applications, from thermal activation to catalytic activation. A few chemical routes have now been identified, which could lead to such (bio)degradable resin precursors.
The first stage of this project, started in 2016, is to identify interested scientific contributors, research labs and sponsors to fund, experiment and evaluate these routes.
LEUGOS contribution to the program is to ensure the industrial feasibility of its outcome and to consult in specific areas of expertise (interfacial chemistry and microencapsulation).