Lead Performer: Oak Ridge National Laboratory – Oak Ridge, TN
Partner: DuPont Performance Building SolutionsMidland, MI
DOE Total Funding:  $100,000
Industry Cost Share:  $50,000
ORNL Cost Share:  $100,000
Project Term: January 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022
Funding Type: Technology Commercialization Fund

Project Objective

Leaks in air- and water-resistive barriers of building envelopes are often caused by sealant failures. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is developing a primer-less, self-healing sealant that will outperform current commercially available technologies. This formulation will incorporate hydrogen bonds and flexible polymer chains, producing a dynamic polymer that will repair itself more quickly than typical self-healable elastomers and absorb dust particles that reduce adhesion to substrates. The mechanical properties of the new sealant can be tuned by controlling the density of chemical and physical crosslinks. The new sealant will achieve a peel strength 20 lb./inch and initiate self-healing of micro-cracks immediately after they form. This will allow the sealant to recover ≥60% of its original tensile strength and extensibility properties, maintain 100% of water impermeability at the damaged area after four hours of self-healing, and adhere to dusty surfaces. Close collaboration with DuPont will ensure that the developed technology is scalable and feasible for use in the construction industry.

Project Impact

The novel functions of the primer-less, self-healing sealant will improve sealant longevity and performance, reducing energy use due to air leaks and required maintenance due to water damages.


DOE Technology Manager: Sven Mumme
Lead Performer: Diana Hun and Pengfei Cao, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Related Publications

  • Primer-less self-healing sealant, U.S. patent application #63/050,906.
  • Zhang Z, Ghezawi N, Li B, Ge S, Zhao S, Saito T, Hun D, and Cao P. Autonomous Self-healing Elastomers with Unprecedented Adhesion Force. Submitted to Advanced Functional Materials.
Video Url

Prototype of Self-Healing Polymer

Video from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.