Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology, Vol.29, No.17, 1807-1819, 2015
Atmospheric-pressure plasma treatment of polyamide 6 composites for bonding with polyurethane
An atmospheric-pressure plasma jet (APPJ)-based surface treatment process was investigated for the structural (tau(B)>15MPa) adhesive bonding of polyamide 6 (PA6) composites. The treated surfaces were examined by contact angle measurement, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Additionally, the shear strengths of single lap specimens were determined as a function of different plasma intensities and polyurethane adhesives. Our results show that APPJ leads to an increase of the surface free energy, oxygen concentration, and number of functional groups. Furthermore, the topography of the surface was significantly modified by exposure to APPJ. AFM measurements show that special attention has to be paid to the intensity of the plasma treatment to avoid melting and flattening of the PA6 surface on the nanometer scale. With optimized multiple APPJ treatments, lap shear strength of 20MPa was achieved for the first time for this material system, allowing the material system to be employed in future automobile applications.