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Fine-Tuning Viscoelasticity of EB-Cured Adhesives to Optimize Performance

SpecialChem / Nov 27, 2002

Adhesive performance is largely determined by the underlying viscoelastic character of the adhesive. Electron beam (EB) curing of monomer-containing formulations results in rather significant changes in molecular weight and crosslinking with seemingly rather subtle changes in formulation and process. These changes influence the viscoelastic character and, hence, adhesion. The role of viscoelasticity of EB-cured adhesives in adhesion will be addressed. Also discussed is the optimization of the viscoelastic character of EB-cured adhesives through formulation and process changes to achieve desired adhesive performance. There is currently a great deal of commercial interest in the use of EB curing for packaging and industrial applications. For adhesive applications, the technology offers the potential benefits of immediate cure, reduced work-in-progress, reduced energy consumption, reduced floor space, no solvent use and no isocyanates1,2. Additionally, EB-curable coatings have been used commercially as topcoats for 20 years, and interest continues to grow.

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