Study on the morphology and tribological properties of acrylic based polyurethane/fumed silica composite coatings

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Physics and Astronomy


Two fumed silica ( one hydrophilic and one hydrophobic) were used in the high solid acrylic based polyurethane coatings by directly mixing. The dispersion of fumed silica particles in the bulk of polyurethane coats was characterized by transmission electron microscope (TEM) and surface morphology examined using a scanning probe microscope (SPM). Micro indentation and scratching tests were carried out with a nano-indenter. Both hydrophilic and hydrophobic fumed silica nearly have the same dispersion in acrylic based polyurethane coats. The surface roughness of polyurethane coats increases as fumed silica increases, however, the surfaces of polyurethane coatings containing hydrophobic fumed silica are rougher than that containing hydrophilic fumed silica at the same content. Addition of fumed silica can obviously enhance the micro indentation hardness (MIH) and elastic modulus of polyurethane coats and the higher the content of fumed silica is, the higher the MIH is for hydrophilic one but for hydrophobic one only under normal load less than 20 mN. In the micro scratch experiment, the elastic response and plastic deformation nearly keep constant with normal force increasing for pure acrylic based polyurethane coats. But the percentage of elastic response decreases and the percentage of plastic deformation increases as normal force increases for the polyurethane coats with fumed silica. Crack occurs when scratching under normal force higher than 50 mN for the polyurethane coats with fumed silica, and as the content of fumed silica increases, the critical force for crack increases. Additionally, both hydrophilic and hydrophobic fumed silica have no obvious influence on the response to marring stress and micro mar resistance (MMR) of acrylic based polyurethane. (C) 2004 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

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