A coating based on collagen with self-healing properties was developed for applications in mechanical components that are prone to abrasion due to contact with a counter surface. The inherent swelling behavior of collagen in water was exploited as the fundamental mechanism behind self-healing of a wear scar formed on the surface. The effects of freeze-drying process and water treatment of the collagen coatings on their mechanical and self-healing properties were analyzed. Water was also used as the medium to trigger the self-healing effect of the collagen coatings after the wear test. It was found that collagen coatings without freeze-drying did not demonstrate any self-healing effect whereas the coatings treated by freeze-drying process showed remarkable self-healing effect. Overall, collagen coatings that were freeze-dried and water treated showed the best friction and self-healing properties. Repeated self-healing ability of these coatings with respect to wear scar was also demonstrated. It was also confirmed that the self-healing property of the collagen coating was effective over a relatively wide range of temperature.
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Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea Government (MSIP) (No. 2010-0018289).
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