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Dynamic Mechanical Analysis of Polymer Coatings by Nanoindentation

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Covalent experts describe how the nanoindentation technique for analyzing surface mechanical properties can be adapted for dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) on polymer coatings.

Covalent performed dynamic mechanical analysis of an epoxy adhesive film (60 µm thick) on a substrate under elevated temperatures using a specialized nanoindentation mode available on the Anton Paar UNHT3 Indenter system.

Epoxies are widely used adhesive materials whose mechanical properties depend on the degree of cure. Incomplete curing of epoxy can lead to downstream problems such as delamination. While thermal analysis methods such as Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) are commonly used for measuring the degree of cure, it is constrained by sample mass (at least 5-10 mg is needed). However, such an amount of adhesive film is rarely available.

On the other hand, minimal sample preparation is required for nanoindentation of a thin film. From previous DSC work, the cure onset temperature was measured to be ~150 °C. In this study, Covalent used Sinus mode to characterize E’, E”, and tan δ  near the cure state of the epoxy.

From this investigation, Covalent refined understanding of the correlation between temperature and epoxy curing.

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Covalent Metrology is a disruptive analytical services laboratory and platform based in Sunnyvale, California. Its mission is to help companies using advanced materials and nanoscale devices accelerate product development with deeper insights and better analytical data. Covalent offers comprehensive solutions and services that integrate state-of-the-art lab infrastructure, world-class experts in a wide array of analytical techniques, and modern data management and analysis.

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