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Surface Analytical Approaches Contributing To Quality Assurance During Manufacture Of Functional Interfaces

K. Brune, Christian Tornow, M. Noeske, Thorben Wiesner, André Felipe Queiroz Barbosa, Stephani Stamboroski, S. Dieckhoff, B. Mayer
Published 2015 · Materials Science

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Assessing adhesion or strength of composites or adhesive joints in a non-destructive way is highly challenging. Therefore, instead of performing retrospective quality assurance, i.e. investigating manufactured joints, it is advantageous to safeguard performance and quality of each layer and each interface already during manufacture. This approach still is challenging, as it requires a systematic quantitative evaluation of threshold criteria, but appreciably it gets more and more feasible. We present approaches for an inline-capable and non-destructive quality assurance of steps in manufacturing processes used for tailoring the state of substrate surfaces. Benefits from applying techniques for inline surface analysis like Optically Stimulated Electron Emission (OSEE) and Aerosol Wetting Test (AWT) will be detailed. The performed procedures contribute to a novel class of non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques, classified as Extended NDT (ENDT). The principle of ENDT methods is based on the detection of selected physico-chemical properties which are important for the anticipated performance of the functional interfaces in the products to be manufactured.A prerequisite for obtaining reliable composite materials is to reproducibly prepare a suitable surface state of the substrates before the first step of a coating or bonding process. As demonstrative application scenarios, we highlight first an exemplary surface pretreatment process for steel substrates, and second the identification of a surface state for carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) adherents suitable for joining. Concerning steel substrates we investigated two types of steel both in the as-received state and a state after grinding. We demonstrate that the removal of the topmost material layer comprising the reaction layer and mechanically deformed metal grains strongly affects the properties of the resulting adherent surface. As a consequence, a material-specific time slot for a steel substrate exposure in air after grinding is suggested in which the surface properties probed by OSEE remain unchanged. Moreover, we work out that the sensitivity and accuracy of inline-capable NDT techniques allow distinguishing surface states suitable for bonding of CFRP adherents from surface states unfavourable for adhesive bonding, and we exemplarily verify this statement for bonding processes applying freshly ground CFRP or, respectively, CFRP covered with thin layers of release agents.
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