Predicting the adhesion strength of thermoplastic/glass interfaces from wetting measurements

C. A. Fuentes, Y. Zhang, H. Guo, W. Woigk, K. Masania, C. Dransfeld, J. De Coninck, C. Dupont-Gillain, D. Seveno, A. W. Van Vuure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


To evaluate compatibility between a substrate and a thermoplastic polymer, the established methodology is to estimate their surface composition in terms of surface energy components, utilizing the results of contact angle measurements of probe liquids onto substrate and polymer surfaces at room temperature. Using this methodology, polymer surfaces are studied in solid state, however, during spreading of polymers on a substrate, polymers are in molten state and at high temperature, having different surface energies and more complex polymer/substrate interactions due to polymer chain mobility. This paper presents a model study with practical relevance to predict polymer/substrate compatibility including contact angle measurements at high temperature directly performed between molten thermoplastics; polypropylene (PP), polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and maleic anhydride-grafted polypropylene (MAPP), on smooth glass fibres and plates. The values of total surface energy of thermoplastics at high temperature (260 °C) are down to 57% of that measured at room temperature, which has a strong influence on the wetting prediction. Surface energies of both the polymer and the substrate were found not to be the only factor controlling the wetting behaviour of molten polymers and the level of adhesion with the substrate, but also some intrinsic characteristics of the polymer melt play a role. We also observed that the wetting behaviour of molten MAPP is affected by the maleic anhydride (MA) content, demonstrating dramatically different results to room temperature measurements, which is suspected to be due to the formation of covalent bonds of MA groups with the glass surface enhancing the interface strength beyond the shear strength of MAPP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-290
Number of pages11
JournalColloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Glass
  • Interface/interphase
  • Surface analysis
  • Wettability

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