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Microgel Adhesives for Wet Cellulose: Measurements and Modeling

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journal contribution
posted on 27.03.2012 by Quan Wen, Robert Pelton
Nanostructured adhesive layers were prepared by adsorbing and/or grafting polyvinylamine (PVAm) onto carboxylated poly­(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) microgels that were then assembled between layers of wet oxidized cellulose. The wet delamination force was measured as functions of PVAm content, PVAm molecular weight, coverage (mass adhesive/joint area), and the distribution of carboxyl groups in the PNIPAM microgels. The use of microgels is attractive because simple physical adsorption onto the cellulose surfaces before lamination gives much higher adhesive content and strength compared to the corresponding adsorbed linear PVAm. Wet adhesion increased with PVAm content in the microgels and the quantity of microgels in the joint whereas adhesion was independent of PVAm molecular weight. Physical adsorption of the PVAm onto/into the microgels gave the same adhesion as covalently coupled PVAm. Finally, the roles of microgel diameter, elasticity, and coverage were simulated by a simple peel adhesion model in which the microgels were treated as ideal springs.