Applied Surface Science, Vol.161, No.3-4, 355-364, 2000
The role of oxide structure on copper wire to the rubber adhesion
Most metals have an oxide layer on the surface. However, the structure of the oxide varies with the matrix composition, and depends upon the environmental conditions. A bronze coating, nominal composition of 98.5% Cu and balance of Sn, is applied to steel wire for reinforcing pneumatic tire beads and to provide adhesion to rubber. This work studied the influence of copper oxides on the bronze coating on adhesion during vulcanization. To emphasize the oxide structures, electrolytic tough pitch (ETP) copper wire was used instead of the traditional bronze-coated tire bead wire. Experimental results confirmed the hypothesis that cuprous oxide (Cu2O) could significantly improve bonding between copper wire and rubber, and demonstrated that the interaction between rubber and oxide layer on wire is an electrochemical reaction.