Department: Grad. Program in Materials Science
Name: Corey T. Love
Email: clove @ ucsd.edu
Grad Year: 2007
Adhesion to metallic substrates can be improved through the addition of polar functional groups which bond with surface groups on the metal substrate. Additionally, polar interactions have been shown to increase adhesive strength even in wet environments (such as is the case for cathodic protection). A polymer blend is proposed as a coating material to provide adequate protection against the diffusion of moisture and air to the metallic surface along with superior adhesion even in the presence of wet and corrosive environments. Reactive ethylene terpolymer (RET) of ethylene/n-butyl acrylate/glycidyl methacrylate (E/nBA/GMA) was compounded with HDPE to develop a potential coating material. The HDPE component offers high chemical and moisture resistance to permeation, while the RET component provides the material with high polarity and reactivity, which enhances adhesion to the substrates to be coated. RET blends show optimal adhesion to steel substrates at 33 wt.% RET added to HDPE (HDPE 66/33). This composition provides mixed-mode bond strength where HDPE provides strength and ductility and the RET provides the polarity and adhesion through the dual functionality glycidyl methacrylate component. The use of micro and nano-scale inorganic filling material have been shown to slow the disbondment process through increased diffusion pathways, increased surface area and mechanical interlock, as well as neatly designed polymer architectures for increased adhesion. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes, exfoliated montmorillonite clay, magnesium silicate and zinc were each melt-blended within the neat reactive ethylene terpolymer resin to form composite films. The produced nanocomposite films show great promise for increased resistance to alcohol-based alterative fuels such as corn ethanol and may serve well as protective coatings for ethanol production, transport and dispensing infrastructure.
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