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Crack propagation along polymer-metal interfaces

Master thesis project: students applied and experimental physics

The integrity of interfaces between metals and polymers is crucial for the proper functioning of applications in many fields: electronics, packages in food industry, plating in cars and ships. Because of increasing potential of applications in demanding fields such as the aviation and space industry there is great interest in life-time predictions for these interfaces. Recently there has been experimental and theoretical progress in the understanding of the breaking of such interfaces. The field is now very active and benefits from contributions from theoretical physicists interested in pattern formation and associated scaling phenomena, materials science and mechanical engineering. In the research group experimental work has been performed on establishing the crack propagation mechanisms on polymer-metal interfaces and really intriguing results have been obtained, see image.

Objectives: The question we address is whether the observed mechanisms are generally encountered or were specific to the interfaces studied at the time. To investigate this specimens covering wide ranges in parameter space will have to be made, covering interface roughness, thermal treatments and thickness. Techniques to do so in a reproducible way have been developed in the lab and are ready to use. Specimens, once fabricated will be investigated in a double cantilever experiment in which a crack propagates slowly and in a controlled way along an interface and is imaged at high rates with optical microscopy. Crack faces may be investigated with SPM techniques.

Dr. Ir. Willem-Pier Vellinga, kamer gebouw 13.048, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
tel: 050-3634821
Prof.dr. J.Th.M. De Hosson, kamer gebouw 13. 041, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it