Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology, Vol.14, No.4, 493-506, 2000
The role of additional silane coupling agent treatment in oxygen plasma-treated UHMPE fiber/vinylester composites
Ultra-high modulus polyethylene (UHMPE) fiber was treated with oxygen plasma and a silane coupling agent in order to improve the interfacial adhesion between the UHMPE fiber and vinylester resin. The oxygen plasma and gamma-methylmethacryloxypropyltrimethoxysilane (gamma-MPS)-treated UHMPE fiber/vinylester composites showed a slightly higher interlaminar shear strength than the oxygen plasma-treated UHMPE fiber/vinylester composites. The interfacial adhesion of the oxygen plasma-treated UHMPE fiber/vinylester composites in this study is mainly due to mechanical interlocking between the micropits formed by the oxygen plasma treatment and the vinylester resin. The gamma-MPS molecules adsorbed onto the UHMPE fiber surface neither affected the morphology of the UHMPE fiber surface, nor reduced the extent of mechanical interlocking. The improved interfacial adhesion by the gamma-MPS treatment is due to enhanced wettability and chemical interaction through the chemically adsorbed gamma-MPS molecules, as detected by Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. The gamma-MPS molecules adsorbed onto the ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) plate surface also reduced the aging effect of the oxygen plasma-treated UHMWPE surface.