Adhesive properties and failure of etched UHMW-PE fibres
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The effect of chemical etching on the surface of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE) fibres with emphasis on the adhesion of epoxy to the fibres was studied. The presence of an oxygen-rich weak boundary layer on the non-polar UHMW-PE fibre yields poor adhesion for the as-received fibre and for fibres etched with the weaker etchants. A significant improvement in adhesion resulted when the weak boundary layer was removed and the UHMW-PE oxidized through etching with chromic acid, a stronger etchant. This significant improvement in adhesion was reflected not only in a higher interfacial shear strength but also in the presence of epoxy cohesive failure. The debonding of droplet microbonds was found to be a suitable technique for the characterization of adhesion in the UHMW-PE/epoxy system.
KeywordsMolecular Weight Boundary Layer Polyethylene Epoxy Shear Strength
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