Characterizing the mechanism of improved adhesion of modified wood plastic composite (WPC) surfaces
To have a better knowledge of the phenomena that affect the adhesion characteristics of wood plastic composites (WPCs) a series of surface treatments was performed. The treatments consisted of chemical, mechanical, energetic, physical, and a combination of energetic and physical WPC surface modifications. After each treatment, the composite boards were bonded using a commercial epoxy adhesive, and bond shear strength was determined according to ASTM D 905.
All the surface treatments, except the mechanical one, were performed and presented in a previous paper (W. Gramlich et al., J. Adhesion Sci. Technol. 20, 1873–1887 (2006)). Mechanical treatment and surface characterization for all the treatments were performed in the present study. The surface characterization included application of thermodynamic and spectroscopic techniques. Most of the surface treatments improved the adhesive bondability of wood plastic composites and, particularly, the smoothest WPC surfaces increased the shear strength by 100% with respect to the control. Thermodynamic measurements indicate that the WPCs low surface energy of about 25 mJ/m2, is likely due principally to the surface migration of a lubricant component used in the extrusion formulation. The surface energy increased over 45% with respect to the control samples after the chemical treatments. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis indicated that high oxidation levels of the WPC surfaces resulted in high surface energy and high bond shear strength.