The modified boundary layer mechanism for the release between polyimide film and poly(ether ketone ketone) thermoplastics

Zixuan Yang, Tim Dissevelt, Nan Li, Erik de Vries, Wouter Grouve, Ningzhong Bao, Matthijn de Rooij, Remko Akkerman, Liangyong Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Sticking between the thermoplastic polymer and metal tool is a crucial issue, as it determines whether the manufactured part can be ejected from the metal mold. Polyimide (PI) release films have been widely used in the processing of fiber-reinforced thermoplastic polymer composites. Compared with other release mediums such as release agents, PI release film has a higher release efficiency. However, the underlying release mechanism is still not well understood which is essential to improve their performance further and reduce the cost. In this paper, poly(ether ketone ketone) (PEKK) polymer was melted and cooled down between two PI films. The surface morphologies and chemical compositions of the PI film and PEKK were characterized both before and after release using atomic force microscope, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, contact angle measurements, and confocal microscopy. It showed that a thin PI layer was transferred from the PI release film to the PEKK surface during the release process. Based on these experimental results, a modified boundary layer mechanism is proposed as a hypothesis to describe the release mechanism of PI films. Our results give a fundamental understanding of how PI film works for the release of thermoplastics with high processing temperatures and may help to improve the performance and reduce the costs of existing PI films and may give guidance to the design of new release media.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere55377
JournalJournal of applied polymer science
Issue number20
Early online date28 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2024


  • 2024 OA procedure
  • surfaces and interfaces
  • thermoplastics
  • polyimides


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