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An Engineering Analysis of Polymer Film Adhesion to Rigid Substrates


Heymans, Luc J. (1983) An Engineering Analysis of Polymer Film Adhesion to Rigid Substrates. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/3GQW-YP87.


An important source of interface fracture contributing to adhesive failure in a bimaterial sandwich, consisting of a rigid substrate and a viscoelastic encapsulant material, arises from residual stresses. The encapsulant is often deposited on the substrate above its glass transition temperature region but used below this temperature range. In order to determine the magnitude of the residual stresses a viscoelastic stress analysis of a bimaterial sandwich is carried out, taking into account the time-dependent material properties of the polymeric layer and the environmental "loading" conditions. The theoretical analysis is paralleled by an experimental examination of the time-dependent out-of-plane deformation of thin, circular sandwiches.

Polyvinyl acetate was chosen as a model material exhibiting significant viscoelastic effects under room test conditions. Therefore the pertinent physical and mechanical properties of PYAc are determined; these include the thermal coefficient of expansion, the shear creep compliance and the relaxation modulus. In the experimental work BK-7 glass is taken as the "rigid" substrate. The measurements connected to the stress analysis are monitored with laser interferometry (Newton's rings). A comparison between theory and experiment completes the viscoelastic stress analysis.

In the second part of this study time dependent adhesive failure of rubbery materials is investigated. Polymeric materials are being used increasingly for a wide variety of applications. Some of these materials are applied as protective layers to isolate their substrates from a hostile environment. Others achieve remarkable structural bond strengths thereby displacing the traditional mechanical fasteners like bolts and rivets. If one wants to investigate the long time integrity of a layer assembly the time dependence of the material properties of the adhesives needs to be carefully analyzed. This time dependence is also reflected in the energy required to create new surfaces as interfacial debonding proceeds the adhesive fracture energy is one of the dominant parameters in time dependent adhesive failure. In our investigation it is characterized through peel testing.

With the knowledge of the pertinent material properties as well as of the adhesive fracture energy, we then proceed to formulate a criterion for continuing interfacial crack propagation. The analysis is carried out for elastic solids, with the effect of viscoelastic behavior incorporated later on. Debond tests provide a way to check how well the theoretical predictions correspond to experimental debond results.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Aeronautics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Knauss, Wolfgang Gustav
Thesis Committee:
  • Knauss, Wolfgang Gustav (chair)
  • Babcock, Charles D.
  • Knowles, James K.
  • Tschoegl, Nicholas W.
  • Fornberg, Bengt
Defense Date:3 November 1982
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)49-767-1D002-0-3460
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)AFOSR-81-0127
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-05152007-111322
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1821
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:15 May 2007
Last Modified:21 Dec 2019 04:57

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