Adhesion of evaporated metallic films onto polyethylene and poly(tetrafluoroethylene): Importance of surface crosslinking



Ni, Fe, Ti, Al, Au, and Cu were each evaporated and deposited onto both sides of polyethylene and poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE) films. Adhesive joint strengths of the different metal–polymer–metal composites were compared and subsequent surface modifications due to metalization were investigated. Studies show no change in wettability of polyethylene or PTFE after a metal layer was deposited onto their surfaces and subsequently removed. There was also no evidence of oxidation or unsaturation of the surface. Gel fractions of polyethylene show a definite correlation between joint strength and crosslink at the surfaces of the different metal–polymer composites. Metals forming the strongest joints with polyethylene yield the greatest amount of crosslinking. Conversely, metals forming the weakest joints result in the least amount of crosslinking.