Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology, Vol.20, No.16, 1889-1903, 2006
Residual stresses and practical adhesion: effect of organo-metallic complex formation and crystallization
Epoxy-amine liquid pre-polymers are often applied onto metallic substrates and cured to obtain painted materials or bonded joint structures. The overall performance of such systems depends on the interphase created between the epoxy-amine polymer and the metallic substrate. When epoxy-amine liquid mixtures are applied onto a metallic oxide layer, concomitant amine chemisorption and oxide dissolution occur leading to organo-metallic complex formation. Depending on the amine nature, as soon as the organo-metallic complex concentration is higher than the solubility product (e.g., isophoronediamine (IPDA)), these organo-metallic complexes crystallize as sharp needles. At the same time, the uncrystallized organo-metallic complexes react with the epoxy monomer to form, after curing cycle, a new network. Moreover, the crystal size increases with the solid/liquid contact time leading to an increase of intrinsic residual stresses and Young's modulus. When aliphatic diethylenetriamine (DETA) was used, no crystallization occurred, but the interphase formation was observed. The aim of this study was to understand and to establish the role of crystallization of organo-metallic complexes formed within the interphase on the practical adhesion performance. As the crystallization of the organo-metallic complex depends on the nature of the amine, two amine hardeners were used (IPDA inducing the formation of crystals and DETA without formation of crystals). For DGEBA-IPDA systems, the ultimate load decreases while residual stresses increase when the liquid/solid contact time increases. When no crystal formation was observed (e.g., DGEBA-DETA system), residual stresses, coating Young's modulus and ultimate load values all remained nearly constant irrespective of the liquid/solid contact time.