Enhancing the Bond Strength Between Glass Fibre Reinforced Polyamide 6 and Aluminium through µPlasma Surface Modification.

Michael Jenkins*, Chang Che, Ben Dashtbozorg, Hanshan Dong

*Corresponding author for this work

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Thermoplastic polymers generally exhibit relatively low surface energies and this often results in limited adhesion when bonded to other materials. Plasma surface modification offers the potential to functionalise the polymer surfaces, and thereby enhance the bond strength between dissimilar materials. In this study, glass fibre reinforced polyamide 6 (GFPA6) was modified using a novel μPlasma surface treatment technique and the effectiveness of the adhesive bond with aluminium was evaluated. The treated GFPA6 surfaces were characterised using atomic force microscopy (AFM), Raman spectroscopy, contact angle measurements, surface free energy calculations and wetting envelope analysis. The results show that there was a near exponential growth in root mean square roughness with increasing treatment scans. A significant increase in carbonyl and amide functionality on the polymer surface was observed using Raman spectroscopy. The total surface energy was found to increase from 42.2 mN/m to 67.6 mN/m following a single treatment scan. Significant increases in the tensile shear strength were observed up to 10 treatment scans, going from 1 kN to 2.3 kN, but no further increase was observed with additional treatment scans. These observations, coupled with the atmospheric nature of the technique, points to great potential as a rapid, on-line, and effective, polymer surface treatment technique.
Original languageEnglish
Article number159734
JournalApplied Surface Science
Early online date22 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

This work was financially supported from the Centre for Doctoral Training in Innovative Metal Processing (IMPaCT) funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), grant reference EP/F006926/1, and European Commission (EC ERDF_Smart Factory Hub SmartFub).


  • μPlasma
  • Thermoplastic
  • Wettability
  • Bond strength
  • Aluminium
  • Ageing


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