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The Role of Reactive Functional Groups in Adhesive Bonding at the Aramid-Epoxy Interface.
MIDWEST RESEARCH INST KANSAS CITY MO
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In polymeric composites, reactive functional groups on the fiber surface are assumed to greatly enhance the mechanical strength of the fiber-matrix interface by forming covalent bonds with the matrix. To test this assumption, we sought to promote covalent bonding at the aramid fiber-epoxy matrix interface by attaching flexible reactive pendent groups to the fiber surface. Other factors that could affect interfacial adhesion were kept constant, i.e. surface energy and surface topography. Quantitative analysis showed a pendent group attachment level of 1.5-4.5 groups per 100 square A of fiber surface, a level that agrees well with the theoretical amount. Surprisingly, in adhesive performance tests, the presence of these reactive pendent groups did not improve the fiber-matrix interface strength. Specific chemical tests for covalent bond formation between the terminal amine of the pendent group and the epoxy molecule showed that covalent bonding did not occur, thus explaining the unexpected lack of improvement in adhesive performance.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE