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Environmental Effects on the Mechanical Response of Epoxy Paste

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Environmental Effects on the Mechanical Response of Epoxy Paste Adhesive Bonds and the Formation of Amine Blush


Epoxy paste adhesives are heavily relied upon for industrial bonding applications.  Their use in aerospace requires an elevated level of quality control to ensure that bond strengths meet design requirements.  In order to reduce variability in bond strength, it is essential to understand how bond quality is affected by its processing conditions.  One cause of bonding variability stems from how epoxies react with their environment.   Epoxy adhesive systems can develop what is called an “amine blush” layer, an undesirable side reaction which forms at the adhesive surface.  A motivation for this study is driven from a commercial aircraft delamination of a wing skin, which was attributed to amine blush. [6] This paper outlines the methodology and test results used to investigate environmental impacts on epoxy paste bonding performance, and its relationship to the formation of amine blush during the bonding process.  This testing specifically concerns the case of Hysol Loctite EA9360 aerospace grade epoxy. The wet out surfaces of mechanical T-peel samples were exposed to varied levels of temperature, humidity, CO2 ppm, and exposure times of the mixed and unmixed resin components prior to testing.  To detect any formation of amine blush, traveler surface coupons were exposed with the t-peel samples, and characterized through FTIR spectroscopy.  Blush formation was detected and assessed through FTIR analysis.  The degree of blush formation was compared with the T-peel bond strength.  The key impacts made by environmental conditions on mechanical performance in this study were temperature and exposure times of the mixed and unmixed resin.  CO2 and humidity were not seen to have any measurable effects within the tested conditions.  Lastly, the FTIR analysis approach used in this study to detect the presence of blush did not correlate with the mechanical performance of the samples tested in this report.


Author: Marc Staiger


Conference: SAMPE Seattle 2017


SKU/Code: SE17--0830

Pages: 16

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