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1892. Friedrich, J.F., W. Unger, A. Lippitz, et al, “The improvement in adhesion of polyurethane-polypropylene composites by short-time exposure of polypropylene to low and atmospheric pressure plasmas,” J. Adhesion Science and Technology, 9, 575-598, (1995) (also in Polymer Surface Modification: Relevance to Adhesion, K.L. Mittal, ed., p. 49-72, VSP, May 1996).

The surfaces of polymers, namely polypropylene, copolymers and blends, were exposed to low pressure oxygen and atmospheric pressure air plasmas to improve their adhesion to polyurethane adhesives. A correlation is attempted between lap shear strengths of polypropylene-polyurethane composites and the relevant XPS, AFM and NEXAFS data. It was found that plasma functionalization improved the adhesion to maximum values even when the time of exposure was low: 1 to 10 seconds for low pressure plasmas, and 0.1 to 1 seconds in case of atmospheric plasma jet treatments. Thus, high lap shear strengths were obtained at relatively small oxygen contents. The improvement in shear strength at short time plasma exposures seems to be correlated to the complete smoothening of the supermolecular structure of stretched polypropylene foils as shown by AFM. Valence band XPS and derivatization techniques revealed more details of the oxygen functionalization on polypropylene. NEXAFS experiments confirmed a re-orientation of bonds and segments of the macromolecules by plasma exposure which are assumed to be responsible for adhesion improvement.

1582. Friedrich, J.F., W.E.S. Unger, A. Lippitz, et al, “Chemical reactions at polymer surfaces interacting with a gas plasma or with metal atoms - their relevance to adhesion,” Surface and Coatings Technology, 119, 772-782, (Sep 1999).

The chemical and morphological stabilities of polymer segments in the near-surface layer were investigated by spectroscopic methods such as X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy. Model studies were undertaken with Langmuir–Blodgett films, self-assembled monolayers and oligomer films. For thin polymer layers (30 to 500 nm), the changes in molecular-weight distributions of some polymers were investigated systematically by size exclusion chromatography, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization–time-of-flight mass spectrometry and thermal-field flow fractionation for oxygen- and helium-plasma exposures. The polymer surfaces were found to be relatively stable at exposure to an oxygen low-pressure plasma up to ca. 2 s. This is important information to get maximum adhesion to metals in composites. In correlation to their redox potentials, potassium, aluminium and chromium react with oxygen functional groups at the polymer/metal interface. In a dedicated study, chromium was found to attack aromatic rings and form different reaction products.

1946. Fritz, J.L., and M.J. Owen, “Hydrophobic recovery of plasma-treated polydimethylsiloxane,” J. Adhesion, 54, 33-45, (Dec 1995).

Plasma treatment of silicone surfaces is a useful, environmentally-sound method of increasing wettability to improve adhesion. A thin, wettable silica-like layer is produced with various plasma gases such as argon, helium, oxygen and nitrogen. However, in each case the surfaces gradually recover their hydrophobicity. The silica-like layer is brittle and microcracking is evident at more severe levels of plasma treatment. The onset of cracking is a function of plasma gas, RF power, pressure and treatment time. Scanning electron microscopy has been used to characterize the cracks.

The hydrophobic recovery has been monitored by water contact angle changes. It occurs with both cracked and uncracked treated surfaces. There is an initial jump in hydrophobicity at the onset of cracking. Thereafter, the recovery of both cracked and uncracked surfaces broadly parallels each other with virtually complete recovery of original hydrophobicity within one week. These effects can be accounted for by rapid surface diffusion of low molecular weight material out of fresh cracks followed by slower bulk diffusion through the polymer matrix. Significant differences in recovery rates are also evident between different plasma gases.

1770. Fu, R.K.Y., I.T.L. Cheung, Y.F. Mei, et al, “Surface modification of polymeric materials by plasma immersion ion implantation,” Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, B237, 417-421, (2005).

Polymer surfaces typically have low surface tension and high chemical inertness and so they usually have poor wet-ting and adhesion properties. The surface properties can be altered by modifying the molecular structure using plasma immersion ion implantation (PIII). In this work, Nylon-6 was treated using oxygen/nitrogen PIII. The observed improvement in the wettability is due to the oxygenated and nitrogen (amine) functional groups created on the polymer surface by the plasma treatment. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) results show that nitrogen and oxygen plasma implantation result in C–C bond breaking to form the imine and amine groups as well as alcohol and/or car-bonyl groups on the surface. The water contact angle results reveal that the surface wetting properties depend on the functional groups, which can be adjusted by the ratio of oxygen–nitrogen mixtures.

460. Fulcher, M.R., “An evaluation of the measurement of wettability (MS thesis),” Univ. of Notre Dame, 1985.

972. Gabriele, M.C., “Corona systems keep pace with end-use demands,” Modern Plastics Intl., 29, 28-29, (Feb 1999).

1046. Gabriele, M.C., “'Cold-plasma' system takes on polyolefin parts,” Modern Plastics Intl., 28, 46, (Feb 1998).

461. Gagnon, D.R., and T.J. McCarthy, “Polymer surface reconstruction by diffusion of organic functional groups from and to the surface,” J. Applied Polymer Science, 29, 4335-4340, (1984).

Three nonpolar organic polymers containing small amounts of polar functionality were studied with regard to their surface characteristics. Two of the materials, potassium chlorate/sulfuric acid-oxidized polyethylene and poly(ethylene-co-acrylic acid) display variable surface polarities which can be reversibly accessed by heating films of the polymers in air or aqueous sodium hydroxide. Sodium-reduced Teflon–FEP did not exhibit this characteristic. A combination of contact angle, ESCA, and ATR IR data are used to display that the surface changes are caused by migration of functional groups within the outer few tens of angstroms of the surface.

1562. Gao, L., and T.J. McCarthy, “Ionic liquids are useful contact angle probe liquids,” J. American Chemical Society, 129, 3804-3805, (Mar 2007) (also in PMSE Preprints, V. 97, p. 534-535, Apr 2007).

Contact angle behavior of four relatively high surface tension ionic liquids (1,3-dimethylimidazolium methyl sulfate, 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium ethyl sulfate, 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium fluoroborate, and bis(hydroxyethyl)dimethylammonium methane sulfonate) was studied on seven hydrophobic surfaces and compared with water contact angle behavior. Smooth surfaces of various chemical compositions exhibit contact angles with ionic liquids that are lower than values obtained with water and that scale with liquid surface tension values. Contact angles of ionic liquids on rough perfluoroalkyl surfaces exhibit the highest contact angles reported for liquids other than water and are indistinguishable from those of water and not dependent on liquid surface tension. Superhydrophobic methylsilicone surfaces that exhibit high water contact angles and low hysteresis exhibit very low receding contact angles with ionic liquid probe fluids and high hysteresis. The potential for ionic liquids as probe fluids is argued because of their variable and controllable surface tension, interface charge density, interface dipole density, as well as their variable and controllable cation/anion structure and molecular volume.

2286. Gao, L., and T.J. McCarthy, “Teflon is hydrophilic: Comments on definitons of hydrophobic, shear versus tensile hydrophobicity, and wettability characterization,” Langmuir, 24, 9183-9188, (2008).

Comments are made concerning the recent use of adjectives to describe solid surfaces that exhibit anomalously high water contact angle values. We suggest that the meaning of the word hydrophobic be resolved before it is modified, for example, to superhydrophobic and further modified, for example, to sticky superhydrophobic and before the definitions of these new words become issues of contention. The case is made that the first statement in the title is appropriate with experiments that demonstrate significant attractive interaction between liquid water and the surface of solid Teflon. Four types of experiments are described: the interaction of a silicon-supported covalently attached perfluoroalkyl monolayer (a model Teflon surface) with a sessile water drop (1) and with a thin film of water on a clean silicon wafer surface (2), the interaction of 1 and 12 microm diameter solid Teflon particles with a water droplet surface (3), and the interaction of a thin (<5 microm) Teflon film with a water droplet (4). The concepts of shear and tensile hydrophobicity are introduced, and the recommendation that two numbers, advancing and receding contact angle values, should be considered necessary data to characterize the wettability of a surface. That the words hydrophobic, hydrophilic, and their derivatives can and should only be considered qualitative or relative terms is emphasized.

2287. Gao, L., and T.J. McCarthy, “An attempt to correct the faulty intuition perpetuated by the Wenzel and Cassie 'laws',” Langmuir, 25, 7249-7255, (2009).

We respond to a recent report in this journal that criticizes our experiments, which disproved the Wenzel and Cassie theories. The criticism is that we measured contact angles “with drops that were too small, ignoring the indications of existing theoretical understanding.” We take a step back to give an explanation of what we believe to be the reason that the “existing theoretical understanding” is wrong. We explain that the teaching of surface science has led generations of students and scientists to a misunderstanding of the wetting of solids by liquids. This continues as evidenced by this recent criticism and numerous recent papers. We describe several demonstrations that were designed to help teachers, students, and scientists overcome the widespread learning disability that is rooted in their faulty intuition and to help them regard wetting from the perspective of lines and not areas.

2288. Gao, L., and T.J. McCarthy, “Wetting 101,” Langmuir, 25, 14105-14115, (2009).

We review our 2006−2009 publications on wetting and superhydrophobicity in a manner designed to serve as a useful primer for those who would like to use the concepts of this field. We demonstrate that the 1D (three-phase, solid/liquid/vapor) contact line perspective is simpler, more intuitive, more useful, and more consistent with facts than the disproved but widely held-to-be-correct 2D view. We give an explanation of what we believe to be the reason that the existing theoretical understanding is wrong and argue that the teaching of surface science over the last century has led generations of students and scientists to a misunderstanding of the wetting of solids by liquids. We review our analyses of the phenomena of contact angle hysteresis, the lotus effect, and perfect hydrophobicity and suggest that needlessly complex theoretical understandings, incorrect models, and ill-defined terminology are not useful and can be destructive.

2902. Gao, L., and T.J. McCarthy, “Contact angle hysteresis explained,” Langmuir, 22, 6234-6237, (Jun 2006).

A view of contact angle hysteresis from the perspectives of the three-phase contact line and of the kinetics of contact line motion is given. Arguments are made that advancing and receding are discrete events that have different activation energies. That hysteresis can be quantified as an activation energy by the changes in interfacial area is argued. That this is an appropriate way of viewing hysteresis is demonstrated with examples.

2008. Gao, S., and Y. Zeng, “Surface modification of ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene fibers by plasma treatment I: Improving surface adhesion,” J. Applied Polymer Science, 47, 2065-2071, (Mar 1993).

The fiber/epoxy resin adhesion increases after plasma treatment on ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE) fibers. The surface modification of UHMW-PE monofilaments was studied using a combination of techniques: contact-angle measurements, SEM, and pullout tests. The results may be summarized as follows: Infiuenced by different plasma parameters and draw ratios of the monofilaments, the adhesion increases by at least four times by plasma treatment. Failure in the pullout tests involve rupture within a treated monofilament and the skin of it was peeled off; the degree of peeling-off is affected by different plasma treatment conditions and draw ratios of the monofilaments. There is only a slight decrease in the surface energy of the treated monofilaments with aging time. Ways of combining plasma etching with other chemical treatments to further improve the fiber/resin adhesion have also been studied. © 1993 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

117. Garbassi, F., E. Occhiello, F. Polato, and A. Brown, “Surface effect of flame treatments on polypropylene (Part 2),” J. Materials Science, 22, 1450-1456, (1987).

Static secondary ion mass spectroscopy (fast atom bombardment mass spectroscopy), (SIMS (FABMS)) and Fourier transform infrared-photo-acoustic spectroscopy (FTIR-PAS) studies have been performed on samples of polypropylene subjected to different numbers of flame treatments. SIMS spectra allowed us to identify unambiguously the site of oxidation in the methyl pendant groups, because of the striking decrease in the intensity of the methyl fragment in positive-ion spectra. The behaviour of the surface concentrations of hydroxyl, formyl and carboxyl groups as a function of the number of flame treatments has also been observed, leading us to an hypothesis supporting the effectiveness of hydroxyl groups in promoting paint adhesion. FTIR-PAS spectra did not show evident changes on passing from untreated to flame-treated samples. This negative evidence is also important: it implies a limited depth of oxidation. In the light of previous XPS results and FTIR-PAS characteristics (thickness of the observed layer and sensitivity) we suggest a depth of oxidation of some 10 to 20 nm.

116. Garbassi, F., E. Occhiello, and F. Polato, “Surface effect of flame treatments on polypropylene (Part 1),” J. Materials Science, 22, 207-212, (1987).

A study of the effects of flame treatments on a high-impact polypropylene has been performed. Both physico-chemical and mechanical properties have been investigated. The surface chemical composition has been determined by XPS, while the surface tension and the polarity were obtained through contact angle measurements. A remarkable agreement in the behaviour of chemical composition and polarity has been found, emphasizing the role of carbonyl and carboxyl groups. The adhesion of treated and untreated samples to paint coatings hua been mechanically tested. The force of adhesion remains quite constant after the first flame treatment. This suggests the importance of chemical interactions of the coating with the first layers of the polymer.

1268. Garbassi, F., M. Morra, E. Occhiello, L. Barino, and R. Scordamaglia, “Dynamics of macromolecules: A challenge for surface analysis,” Surface and Interface Analysis, 14, 585-589, (Oct 1989).

XPS and contact angle measurement have been used to study oxygen–plasma-treated polypropylene (PP) surfaces aged at variable temperatures. Surface rearrangement leading to low wettabillity has been observed, without alteration of the surface composition, as determined by XPS. Experimental results have been interpreted in terms of internal rearrangements of a modified layer, <5 nm thick, formed on top of the PP and immiscible with it.

We also modelled the composition of the surface layer and calculated the relative mobility of modified and non-modified polymer chains. On this basis, the experimentally observed behaviour can be interpreted in terms of surface rearrangement driven by a compromise between striving for lower surface tension and maximizing inter-and intramolecular interactions, mainly hydrogen bonds.

The surface composition observed after treatment with plasma, corona, flame or other for enhancing surface tension is then time dependent. For this reason, the procedure used for surface analysis, namely the time allowed for surface equilibration, should be specified in reports.

118. Garbassi, F., M. Morra, and E. Occhiello, Polymer Surfaces: From Physics to Technology, John Wiley & Sons, Nov 1997.

119. Garbassi, F., and E. Occhiello, “Surface modification,” in Concise Polymeric Materials Encyclopedia, Salamone, J.C., ed., 1542-1543, CRC Press, Aug 1998.

1861. Garbassi, F., and E. Occhiello, “Surface modification of PAN fibers by plasma polymerization,” J. Adhesion Science and Technology, 13, 65-78, (1999).

The deposition of plasma polymers on poly(acrylonitrile) (PAN) fibers has been investigated by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and dynamic contact angle measurements. Four polymerizable monomers were examined: tetrafluoromethane (TFM), perfluoropropene (PFP), tetramethyldisiloxane (TMS), and hexamethyldisiloxane (HMS). The deposition rate of TFM was undetectable and the treated fibers exhibited some fluorination and an increase of hydrophilicity, due to posttreatment oxidation after exposure to air. The deposition rate of PFP was quite slow and the formation of an incomplete fluorinated layer was observed, with a remarkable increase of the water advancing contact angles. TMS and more so HMS quickly formed continuous and reproducible polysiloxane layers having pronounced hydrophobic properties. The influence of the position of the fibers in the plasma reactor chamber was also investigated. A good uniformity of deposition was found when the fibers were placed at different points between the electrodes.

120. Gardon, J.L., “Relationship between cohesive energy densities of polymers and Zisman's critical surface tensions (notes),” J. Physical Chemistry, 67, 1935-1936, (1963).

121. Gardon, J.L., “Critical review of concepts common to cohesive energy density, surface tension, tensile strength, heat of mixing, interfacial tension, and butt joint strength,” J. Colloid and Interface Science, 59, 582-596, (1977).

A simple but crude theoretical model involves summation of the pair potential function by integration and the use of dispersion, polar, and induction interactions for establishing the pair potential. For single-component systems the cohesive energy density, δ2, the surface tension, γ, and the molar volume, Vm, are important. The theoretical model, as related to single-component systems, predicts a proportionality between δ2 and γ/Vm13 for molten metals and organic liquids, an increasing trend of γ with δ for polymers, and a maximum ideal tensile strength equal to about one-fourth of δ2 for polymers and metals. Most of the experimental results are reasonably consistent with the theoretical predictions. For two-component interactions the model must be further modified. The δA or γA values are measures of the intensity of interactions within component A. For predicting the A–B interactions, the nature of the interactions within A and B must also be defined in terms of the fractional polarities pA and pB. The value of pA can be determined either from the ionization potential, the polarizability, and the dipole moment of A or by interacting the polar material A with a nonpolar material B. The theory allows the prediction of the heat of mixing and of the ideal butt joint strength from δA, δB, pA, and pB and the prediction of interfacial tension from γA, γB, pA, and pB. While most of the available experimental data are poorly suited for exact quantitative testing of the theory, they are semiquantitatively consistent with it. The theory is useful for interpreting experimental data on polymer solubility, adhesive bond strength, wettability of polymers, and interfacial tension involving organic liquids and water or mercury. In particular, the interfacial tension between mercury and non-hydrogen-bonding organic liquids can be calculated quite accurately with the aid of the fractional polarities.

462. Gardon, J.L., “The influence of polarity upon the solubility parameter concept,” J. Paint Technology, 38, 43, (1966).

2224. Gatenby, A., “CSC Scientific blog: Surface tension by DuNouy rings or Wilhelmy plates - which to choose?,”, Aug 2010.

2226. Gatenby, A., “CSC Scientific blog: Surface tension and interfacial tension,”, Nov 2008.

2227. Gatenby, A., “CSC Scientific blog: Having trouble performing a DuNouy ring test in thick samples?,”, Nov 2010.

2228. Gatenby, A., “CSC Scientific blog: How does surface tension relate to viscosity?,”, Jan 2011.

2259. Gatenby, A., “CSC Scientific blog: Why calibrate a CSC DuNouy tensiometer?,”, Sep 2011.

2298. Gatenby, A., “CSC Scientific blog: Which type of tensiometer do I need?,”, Dec 2011.

2475. Gatenby, A., “CSC Scientific blog: What are the primary conditions affecting surface tension?,”, Sep 2013.

2592. Gatenby, A., “CSC Scientific blog: How are consistency, surface tension, and viscosity different?,”, Feb 2014.

2652. Gatenby, A., “CSC Scientific blog: Should you move to 'actual' surface tension?,”, Sep 2016.

2791. Gatenby, A., “Surface tension - rings, bubbles, drops, and plates,”, Feb 2019.

2915. Gatenby, A., “CSC Scientific blog: A beginner's guide to surface tension, surfactants and micelles,”, Oct 2022.

1889. Gatenholm, P., C. Bonnerup, and E. Wallstrom, “Wetting and adhesion of water-borne printing inks on surface-modified polyolefins,” J. Adhesion Science and Technology, 4, 817-827, (1990).

Polyolefin films were surface-modified by different methods to improve the wetting and adhesion of water-borne printing inks. Polyethylene (PE) films were treated with corona at various energy levels. Surface-modified PE films were characterized by contact angle measurements and electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA). Good wetting was already achieved with treatment at a lower energy level. Various degrees of adhesion were obtained at various degrees of treatment. A hydrophilic monomer, 2-hydroxyethylmethacrylate (HEMA), was polymerized onto the surfaces of polypropylene (PP) with radiation-induced grafting, which was carried out at two different radiation doses. In both cases, a thick, visible layer of polyHEMA was formed on the surface of PP, and satisfactory wetting was already achieved at lower radiation doses. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed that different degrees of roughness were achieved at various radiation doses. Like the case of corona-treated PE, different degrees of adhesion were obtained at different degrees of surface treatment. This study shows that improved wetting alone is not satisfactory for good practical adhesion', regardless of the surface modification method used.

1767. Gavrilov, N.V., V.N. Mizgulin, R. Stinnett, and A.V. Kondyurin, “Modification of polymer films of PE, PTFE, PC, PI by pulse ion beams,” Khimicheskaya Fizika i Mesoskopiya, 1, 39-47, (1999).

463. Gaydos, J., E. Moy, and A.W. Neumann, “Reply to 'On the existence of an equation of state for interfacial free energies' (letter),” Langmuir, 6, 888-892, (1990).

1597. Gaydos, J., and A.W. Neumann, “The dependence of contact angles on drop size and line tension,” J. Colloid and Interface Science, 76, 120+, (1987).

We report contact angle measurements of five n-alkanes, dodecane through hexadecane, on Teflon (FEP) as a function of drop size. In all cases the contact angles decreased by approximately 5° when the drop size was increased from approximately 1 to 4 mm contact radius. A complete solution to the problem of mechanical equilibrium of a sessile drop on a solid surface indicates that the dependence of the contact angle on drop size may be explained by including the effect of line tension in the Young equation. The observed drop size dependence of the contact angle yields a line tension of (2.5 ± 0.5) × 10−6 J/m. Over the range of n-alkanes studied it was not possible to discern any dependence of the line tension on liquid surface tension.

2411. Geibart, D., “Method of surface preparation using plasma in air,” U.S. Patent 6476342, Nov 2002.

122. Geitner, W., “Flame treatment effect on OPP,” AIMCAL News, 14, (Aug 2001).


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