In this work aluminium alloy surfaces have been subjected to three different methods of surface pre-treatments such as solvent degreasing, FPL (Forest Products Laboratory) etching and priming using an epoxy based primer. The treated surfaces were evaluated for surface energy, contact angle, surface topography, surface roughness and adhesive strength characteristics. The influence of surface pre-treatments on the variation of polar, dispersive and total surface energy of the surfaces is addressed. A wettability test was performed on the surfaces using an epoxy adhesive in order to assess the influence of the pre-treatment techniques on substrate/adhesive interaction. Theoretical work of adhesion values for the various pre-treated surfaces were calculated using the contact angle data and further tested experimentally by adhesive bond strength evaluation by tensile testing of a single lap aluminium-epoxy-aluminium assembly. The method of surface pre-treatment showed a profound effect on the surface topography and roughness by AFM. This study reveals that a combination of high surface energy and high surface roughness of the substrate along with good wettability of the adhesive contributed to the highest joint strength for the aluminium alloy through the FPL etching pre-treatment.
International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2016
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