Study of a microcomposite metal-doped polyimide adhesive

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

It is widely held in the field of adhesion science that the properties of the interfacial region, or interphase, between two bonded surfaces are of critical importance to the performance of an adhesive bond. This thesis describes a study in which a polyimide was modified by the addition of metal compounds in an effort to develop a graded interface between the adhesive and aluminum adherends. The results of mechanical adhesion testing and instrumental analysis of the failed surfaces indicated that the added compounds did in fact preferentially segregate toward the adhered surfaces, but that this segregation decreased the strength of bonds tested in peel. It was concluded that the collection of metal compounds at the metal surfaces did not occur in such a manner as to improve the integrity of adhesive bonds, but the possibility remains that an improved, graded interface might still be formed given a more appropriate adhesive/dopant system and improved specimen preparation and testing techniques.