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Scanning Kelvin Probe Blister test measurements of adhesive delamination - Bridging the gap between experiment and theory

: Grothe, R.; Liu, Chen-Ni; Baumert, M.; Hesebeck, Olaf; Grundmeier, G.


International journal of adhesion and adhesives 73 (2017), pp.8-15
ISSN: 0143-7496
ISSN: 1879-0127
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IFAM ()

The delamination of an epoxy-adhesive film from a zinc coated steel substrate was studied by means of the electrochemical Height Regulated Scanning Kelvin Probe Blister Test (HR-SKP-BT1) under controlled atmospheric conditions, applied pressure and interfacial electrode potential. The experimental studies focused on the analysis of the critical environmental water activity that leads to a corrosive delamination process under applied mechanical load and the analysis of the corrosion and delamination mechanisms at the front of delamination. The influence of applied pressure and relative humidity on the increase in the maximum blister height and the delamination rate was measured under constant polarization of the defect. 90° peel-tests were performed in order to correlate the water activity with the resulting peel force. The corrosion products that formed across the delamination front were analyzed by Raman microscopy. Through these HR-SKP-BT studies, a critical value was found for relative humidity for the delamination process. A transition zone was detected in which electrochemical degradation precedes mechanical delamination. In addition to the experimental studies, the critical energy release rates of the blister were calculated in finite element (FE2) simulations so as to enable a better understanding of the delamination of adhesives on metal surfaces. The combined experimental and theoretical studies show that the delamination process is controlled by the interfacial electrochemical reactions at the delamination front and that a transition area of few hundred micrometers exists in which the adhesion strength is lowered by the cathodic oxygen reduction process to a value which can be overcome by the mechanical stress in this area.