Adhesion Studies of Latex Film Surfaces on the Meso- and Nanoscale

A. Oláh, Mark A. Hempenius, Shan Zou, G. Julius Vancso

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3 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper the effects of surface roughness and annealing temperature (T) of latex coating films on adhesion are discussed for the different stages of the film formation process. The surface free energy of latex films was assessed in terms of practical work of adhesion (W) (or adherence) using a custom-built adhesion-testing device (ATD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and contact angle measurements. For preannealed latex films surface roughness averages (Ra) were determined from AFM height images and were related to the values of W obtained from ATD measurements at room temperature. The results obtained using these tests exhibiting surface behavior on different length scales indicate a dependence of the measured adhesion on surface roughness and temperature, as well as on the length scale of the measurements. First preannealed samples were studied, which were obtained by heat treatment above the respective glass transition temperatures (Tg). Increasing the temperature of preannealing resulted in a decrease of the adherence observed in ATD experiments at room temperature. However, on the nanoscale, using AFM, no significant variation of the adherence was observed. This observation can be explained by roughness arguments. Preannealing decreases roughness which results in lower adherence values measured by ATD while for essentially single asperity AFM experiments roughness has an insignificant effect. Specimens were also annealed over a constant period of time (90 min) at different temperatures. At the end of the heat treatment, adhesion was measured at the treatment temperature by ATD. The amplified effect of temperature observed in this case on adherence is attributed to the combination of roughness decrease and increasing test temperature. In a third set of experiments completely annealed samples were studied by ATD as well as by AFM as a function of temperature. With increasing T values ATD showed a decrease in adherence, which is attributed to a decreasing surface free energy of the annealed films at elevated T values. AFM, on the other hand, showed an opposite trend which is assigned to increasing penetration of the tip into the tip/wetting polymer samples versus increasing temperature. Finally, annealing isotherms as a function of time were investigated by ATD in situ at different temperatures. This last set of experiments allowed us to optimize annealing time and temperature to achieve complete curing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3714-3728
Number of pages15
JournalApplied surface science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • METIS-230931
  • IR-74487


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