Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology, Vol.14, No.8, 1071-1083, 2000
The aging effects of repeated oxygen plasma treatment on the surface rearrangement and adhesion of LDPE to aluminum
The effects of aging temperature and time on the adhesion properties of oxygen plasma-treated low-density polyethylene (LDPE) were investigated. As the aging temperature and time increased, surface rearrangement and the migration of molecules containing polar functional groups into the bulk were accelerated to the surface to form a hydrophobic surface. The adhesion strength of oxygen plasma-treated LDPE/aluminum joints was measured using a 90 degrees peel test by varying the plasma treatment time and aging temperature. The adhesion strength was constant, regardless of the plasma treatment time. As the aging temperature increased, the adhesion strength of the LDPE/aluminum joints decreased and the locus of failure changed from cohesive to interfacial failure. It was also found that the polar functional groups buried in the bulk could be reoriented to the surface in a polar environment. This study also investigated whether repeated oxygen plasma treatment would increase the concentration of polar functional groups at the surface and reduce the surface rearrangement and the migration of molecules containing polar functional groups during aging. Contact angle measurements and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) showed that repeated oxygen plasma treatments increased the concentration of polar functional groups at the surface. However, the aging time between plasma treatments had a negligible effect on the concentration of polar functional groups at the surface.