The bonding properties of zirconium- and titanium-based conversion coatings were evaluated using model conversion solutions of H2ZrF6 and H2TiF6 with addition of various organic additives (PAA, PVA, PVP). Macroscopic testing techniques such as contact angle and pull-off adhesion measurements were performed on galvanized steel sheets. Complementary to this, molecular studies were performed on model zinc substrates using ATR-FTIR in the Kretschmann configuration. The macroscopic and molecular approaches showed a good correlation demonstrating ATR-FTIR in the Kretschmann configuration to be a valuable tool to gain fundamental insights in metal oxide-polymer interfacial phenomena. Zirconium-treated galvanized steel substrates were shown to have a higher bonding affinity for the polyester coil coat primer than titanium-treated galvanized steel substrates. The presence of organic additives did not further improve the bonding properties. Yet, organic additives initially improved the interfacial stability of titanium-treated substrates. However, on the long term, organic additives are shown to be detrimental for polyester coil coat adhesion. This adverse effect of organic additives on the long term was assigned to its selective dissolution during immersion and was most pronounced for titanium-treatments. The limited effect of organic additives in case of zirconium-treatments was attributed to the higher portion of chemical interfacial bonds, as well as its tendency for crosslinking reactions causing entanglement of polymeric compounds in the zirconium oxide structure.
- Adhesion strength
- Chemical conversion treatment
- Galvanized steel
- Interfacial stability
- Polyester coil coat