Surface Chemistry and Bonding of Plasma-Aminated Polyaramid Filaments

  • Ronald E. Allred
  • Edward W. Merrill
  • David K. Roylance
Part of the Polymer Science and Technology book series (PST)


Thermomechanical performance of polyaramid-reinforced, resin-matrix composites often is limited by poor adhesion in the filament-matrix interphase region. This study describes a method to improve adhesion by forming covalent bonds across the interface through amine functional groups. Amine functionality has been introduced onto poly(p-phenylene terephthalamide), PPTA, filaments by exposure to ammonia or monomethyl amine RF glow discharge plasmas. Surface amine concentration rises rapidly upon plasma exposure and reaches a steady state in 30 to 60 sec. Weibull parameters for the filament strength distribution are unchanged by the plasma amination reaction. The amine groups are stable in air and water. They may be reacted directly with epoxide resins, or modified to functionalities that can react with other polymer matrix materials.

PPTA/epoxy laminates reinforced with aminated fabric have higher interlaminar tensile and peel strengths than laminates reinforced with untreated fabric. The failure mode changes from interphase dominated to a mixture of filament splitting and matrix cracking as surface amine concentration increases. Moisture absorption of untreated PPTA fabric/epoxy laminates occurs by a non-Fickian interfacial wicking mechanism. After amination, the absorption rate is reduced by a factor of three and occurs by a Fickian bulk diffusion mechanism. These results indicate that the mechanical properties and environmental resistance of polyara-mid-reinforced composites may be improved by covalent bonding at the filament-matrix interface.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald E. Allred
    • 2
  • Edward W. Merrill
    • 1
  • David K. Roylance
    • 1
  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Division 1812Sandia National LaboratoriesAlbuquerqueUSA

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