Improving the adhesion strength of polymers: effect of surface treatments

Marouen Hamdi, Mohamed Nasr Saleh, Johannes A. Poulis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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To improve their adhesion strength, polymeric surfaces are usually modified through different treatments. This study investigates the effect of mechanical, chemical, and energetic treatments on the bonding strength of ethylene propylene diene methylene (EPDM), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) materials. Three adhesives based on different chemical compositions, namely silicone, polyurethane, and modified-silane (MS) polymer, were considered. Results show that the effect of the applied treatments on the adhesion strength of EPDM surfaces is insignificant. Only a slight improvement is obtained in the case of polyurethane-based adhesive, while the failure modes remained adhesive. As for PVC, most treatments were effective in the case of the silicone-based adhesive, especially grit blasting, primer, and UV/ozone treatments. Only UV/ozone treatment improved the adhesion strength and altered the failure mechanisms of this material when polyurethane and MS-based adhesives are used. The adhesion of ABS increased and the failure modes changed from adhesive to cohesive for most treatments. Particularly, a significant improvement is obtained when primer coating and UV/ozone radiation are applied. This comparative study paves the way for the design of polymeric joints with highly enhanced adhesion performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1853-1870
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Adhesion Science and Technology
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020


  • ABS
  • adhesion strength
  • EPDM
  • PVC
  • Surface treatment

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