Eur. Phys. J. Appl. Phys.
Volume 34, Number 2, May 2006
15th International Colloquium on Plasma processes (CIP 2005)
|125 - 138
|Plasma, Discharge and Processes
|04 May 2006
Strategies to improve the adhesion of rubbers to adhesives by means of plasma surface modification
Adhesion and Adhesives Laboratory, University of Alicante, 03080 Alicante, Spain
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Revised: 1 December 2005
Accepted: 22 December 2005
Published online: 4 May 2006
The surface modifications produced by treatment of a synthetic sulfur vulcanized styrene-butadiene rubber with oxidizing (oxygen, air, carbon dioxide) and non oxidizing (nitrogen, argon) RF low pressure plasmas, and by treatment with atmospheric plasma torch have been assessed by ATR-IR and XPS spectroscopy, SEM, and contact angle measurements. The effectiveness of the low pressure plasma treatment depended on the gas atmosphere used to generate the plasma. A lack of relationship between surface polarity and wettability, and peel strength values was obtained, likely due to the cohesive failure in the rubber obtained in the adhesive joints. In general, acceptable adhesion values of plasma treated rubber were obtained for all plasmas, except for nitrogen plasma treatment during 15 minutes due to the creation of low molecular weight moieties on the outermost rubber layer. A toluene wiping of the N2 plasma treated rubber surface for 15 min removed those moieties and increased adhesion was obtained. On the other hand, the treatment of the rubber with atmospheric pressure by means of a plasma torch was proposed. The wettability of the rubber was improved by decreasing the rubber-plasma torch distance and by increasing the duration because a partial removal of paraffin wax from the rubber surface was produced. The rubber surface was oxidized by the plasma torch treatment, and the longer the duration of the plasma torch treatment, the higher the degree of surface oxidation (mainly creation of C–O moieties). However, although the rubber surface was effectively modified by the plasma torch treatment, the adhesion was not greatly improved, due to the migration of paraffin wax to the treated rubber-polyurethane adhesive interface once the adhesive joint was produced. On the other hand, the extended treatment with plasma torch facilitated the migration of zinc stearate to the rubber-adhesive interface, also contributing to deteriorate the adhesion in greater extent. Finally, it has been found that cleaning of SBS rubber in an ultrasonic bath prior to plasma torch treatment produced a partial removal of paraffin waxes from the surface, and thus improved adhesion was obtained.
PACS: 81.85-b – Surface treatment / 52.80-s – Electric discharges
© EDP Sciences, 2006
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