How do you bond acrylic foils smoothly onto other materials, with a strong bond withstanding boiling water and harsh conditions without compromising the transparency and optical properties of the acrylic material?
Nanobonding is a process of adapting a layer of so-called polymer brushes onto the substrate materials. The polymers are created in a two-step process, where first a chemical attachment of organic molecules is created to the metal or glass material. The molecules attached to the surface are cleverly designed, to allow a further chemical process, called a polymerization. That allows the growth of long chains of molecules – polymers – from these anchor points on the metal. The result is a forrest of molecular chains – polymer brushes – that can act as a sort of nano-velcro in a bonding process with plastic materials.
Assembly of PMMA to Glass
In this proof of concept project, we showed how you can use solvent welding to make a very smooth transition less bonding between glass and PMMA. With a simple press, we pressed acetone evenly along the interface of the PMMA and the RadiBond primed glass-surface to allow entanglement between the polymer brushes on the glass and the polymer material of the PMMA. The result was a glass, with a strongly bonded PMMA foil with an invisible interface and hence perfect optical transparency between the two materials.
Stability of the laminated PMMA foil on glass
The stability of the solution was tested through boiling in water and climate chamber stress tests with no resulting delamination of the well-bonded PMMA from the glass.
Requirements for this specific solution
- The substrate (glas, metal etc.) should have a smooth surface, with a relatively low roughness
- The acrylic material should be at least partially dissoluble in at least one solvent