For the achievement of a complete understanding of the ageing and corrosion of adhesively bonded steel substrates, both the ageing of a polyurethane reference adhesive and the simultaneous corrosion of a mild steel substrate were studied by combined spectroscopic, electrochemical and microscopic techniques. A corundum-blasted mild steel was used as metal substrate in combination with a cross-linked reference polyurethane adhesive free from additional additives or fillers. The ageing was performed under full immersion in a chloride-free aerated electrolyte at elevated temperature. A strong influence of the water saturated polymer phase on the change in the interfacial oxide film structure of the metal substrate was observed. The thickening and hydroxylation of the metal oxide film during the corrosive delamination of the polyurethane film indicated that the de-bonding mechanism of the polyurethane adhesive is mainly based on interfacial water enrichment and a thereby induced growth of the interfacial oxide. The measured electrochemical properties of this oxide indicate that it is highly conductive and allows for oxygen reduction as the counter reaction to metal oxidation.
International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2016
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