The mechanical properties of melamine-formaldehyde (M-F) microcapsules were studied using a micromanipulation technique. Single microcapsules with diameters of 1-12 mum were compressed and held between two parallel planes, compressed and released, and compressed to burst at different speeds, whilst the force being imposed on the microcapsules and their deformation were measured simultaneously. This force increased as single microcapsules were compressed and then relaxed slightly as they were held. When the microcapsules were repeatedly compressed and released, a pseudo yield point was found for each microcapsule. Before the microcapsules were compressed to this point, the deformed microcapsules recovered to their original shape once the force was removed. However, when the deformation was beyond the 'yield point' there was profound hysteresis and the microcapsules showed plastic behaviour. As the microcapsules were compressed to burst at different speeds, ranging from 0.5-6.0 mum/s, it was found that their mean bursting forces did not change significantly. The deformations at the pseudo yield point and at bursting were also independent of the compression speed. On average, these melamine-formaldehyde microcapsules reached their 'yield point' at a deformation of about 19 +/-1%, and burst at a deformation of 70 +/-1%.
- mechanical property