Adhesion and Friction Mechanisms of Polymer-on-Polymer Surfaces

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Science  19 Jul 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5580, pp. 379-382
DOI: 10.1126/science.1072378

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The adhesion and friction of smooth polymer surfaces were studied below the glass transition temperature by use of a surface forces apparatus. The friction force of a crosslinked polymer was orders of magnitude less than that of an uncrosslinked polymer. In contrast, after chain scission of the outermost layers, the adhesion hysteresis and friction forces increase substantially. These results show that polymer-polymer adhesion hysteresis and friction depend on the dynamic rearrangement of the outermost polymer segments at shearing interfaces, and that both increase as a transition is made from crosslinked surfaces to surfaces with long chains to surfaces with quasi-free ends. The results suggest new ways for manipulating the adhesion and friction of polymer surfaces by adjusting the state of the surface chains.

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