Direct correlation between adhesion promotion and coupling reaction at immiscible polymer-polymer interfaces

Jianbin Zhang, Phillip J. Cole, Umang Nagpal, Christopher W. Macosko, Timothy P. Lodge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Hugh Brown has shown that interfacial entanglements govern adhesion between two polymers. We demonstrate this for three systems by adding interfacial chains via chemical coupling. The adhesion between polypropylene (PP)/amorphous polyamide (aPA) was reinforced by the coupling reaction of maleic anhydride grafted PP (PP-g-MA) and the primary amine groups on aPA; huge increases in adhesion were observed. A good correlation between critical fracture toughness, Gc, and PP-g-MA concentration squared follows Brown's crazing mechanism. For a polystyrene (PS)/aPA interface reinforced by the coupling reaction of poly(styrene-r-maleic anhydride) (PS-r-MA)/aPA only modest adhesion increases in Gc were observed through the whole PS-r-MA concentration range. This different behavior of Gc vs. functional polymer concentration is believed to be caused by segregation of the formed graft copolymers at the interface. The relationship between Gc and the extent of coupling was studied quantitatively with a model PS/PMMA system. The interface was reinforced by the coupling reaction of 0-10% PS-NHG2/PMMA-anh. Gc was measured with the asymmetric dual cantilever beam test (ADCB) and the amount of copolymer formed at the interface was determined by a fluorescence labeling technique. Gc is low and is linear in block copolymer interfacial coverage (Σ), indicating a chain scission mechanism. Reasonable agreement was achieved between experiment and theoretical prediction based on the energy to break C-C bonds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)887-902
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Adhesion
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research has been supported in part by the MRSEC program of the National Science Foundation under Award Number DMR–0212302 and IPRIME (the Industrial Partnership for Research in Interfacial and Materials Engineering) at the University of Minnesota.


  • Adhesion promotion
  • Amorphous polyamide
  • Block copolymer
  • Bond energy
  • Critical fracture toughness
  • Energy to break a polymer chain
  • Poly(methyl methacrylate)
  • Polypropylene
  • Polystyrene
  • Reactive coupling


Dive into the research topics of 'Direct correlation between adhesion promotion and coupling reaction at immiscible polymer-polymer interfaces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this