Enhancing structural integrity of adhesive bonds through pulsed laser surface micro-machining

  • Edwin Hernandez Diaz

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Enhancing the effective peel resistance of plastically deforming adhesive joints through laser-based surface micro-machining Edwin Hernandez Diaz Inspired by adhesion examples commonly found in nature, we reached out to examine the effect of different kinds of heterogeneous surface properties that may replicate this behavior and the mechanisms at work. In order to do this, we used pulsed laser ablation on copper substrates (CuZn40) aiming to increase adhesion for bonding. A Yb-fiber laser was used for surface preparation of the substrates, which were probed with a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). Heterogeneous surface properties were devised through the use of simplified laser micromachined patterns which may induce sequential events of crack arrest propagation, thereby having a leveraging effect on dissipation. The me- chanical performance of copper/epoxy joints with homogeneous and heterogeneous laser micromachined interfaces was then analyzed using the T-peel test. Fractured surfaces were analyzed using SEM to resolve the mechanism of failure and adhesive penetration within induced surface asperities from the treatment. Results confirm positive modifications of the surface morphology and chemistry from laser ablation that enable mechanical interlocking and cohesive failure within the adhesive layer. Remarkable improvements of apparent peel energy, bond toughness, and effective peel force were appreciated with respect to sanded substrates as control samples.
Date of AwardJun 2015
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorGilles Lubineau (Supervisor)


  • Laser ablation
  • patterned surfaces
  • cohesive zone model
  • Copper alloys
  • epoxy

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