Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Polypropylene is one of the most used polymers due to its lightweight and recyclability properties, among others. However, its poor characteristics regarding surface energy and lack of polar functional groups have to be overcome to perform adhesion processes. The main objective of this work is to improve the adhesion behavior of polypropylene by combining atmospheric pressure plasma surface activation and silane adhesion promoter. Tetraethoxysilane hydrolysis and condensation are followed through infrared spectroscopy by attenuated total reflectance in order to set the coating conditions. Contact angle measurements and surface energy calculations as well as infrared and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy are used to evaluate polymer chemical modifications. Morphological changes are studied through scanning electron and atomic force microscopy. Results show the ability of plasma treatment to create active oxydised functional groups on the polypropylene surface. These groups lead to a proper wetting of the polymer by the silane. Shear strength of single-lap bonding of polypropylene with a polyurethane adhesive suffers a significant improvement when the silane coating is applied on previously plasma activated samples. It has been also demonstrated that the silane curing conditions play a decisive role on the adhesion response. Finally, the stability of the silane solution is tested up to 30 days, yielding diminished but still acceptable adhesion strength values.