Macromolecular Research, Vol.29, No.3, 230-243, March, 2021
Hardness and Abrasion Resistance Characteristics of Poly(ethylene terephthalate) Films without and with Hard and Adhesive Coatings
In this study, we reports the first quantification details of the pencil hardness, eraser abrasion resistance and steel wool abrasion resistance of optically-transparent and biaxially-oriented poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) films in various thicknesses before and after hard coating (HC) and/or optically clear adhesive (OCA) coating. Surprisingly, the PET base films were determined to exhibit unrealistically very low hardness and abrasion resistances although their stress-strain behavior followed a ductile and tough plastic nature as a high performance engineering plastic: the pencil hardness was only ≤9B even at a low loading force, 0.100 kgf, and the onset loading force to cause scratches was far below 0.013 kgf in both eraser and steel wool abrasions. These collectively confirmed that, without surface protections, PET base films are not suitable for any advanced applications. Such the low hardness and poor abrasion resistances could be improved substantially by only thin HC coating of di(trimethylolpropane) tetraacrylate (HC-a, an ultraviolet curable acrylic resin). In addition, the OCA coating based on an acrylic copolymer adhesive provided adhesion function to the PET films, showing excellent adhesion strength onto chemically-toughened glass. However, the OCA layer causes cushioning effect because of its easy plastic deformation nature, making negative impact on the hardness and abrasion resistance performances of the PET film. Thus, the OCA coating should be thinned until retaining good adhesion to adherends. Overall, PET films coated with HC and/or OCA are suitable for advanced applications in various fields including smart phones, foldable phones, and flexible display devices.
Keywords:optically-transparent PET film;optically-clear hard coating;optically clear adhesive;stress-strain characteristics;hardness;scratch resistance;eraser abrasion resistance;steel wool abrasion resistance;adhesion strength
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