Process and Formulation Strategies to Improve Adhesion of Nanoparticulate Coatings on Stainless Steel
The use of ceramic nanoparticles in coatings can significantly improve their mechanical properties such as hardness, adhesion to substrate, and scratch and abrasion resistance. A successful enhancement of these properties depends strongly on the coating formulation used, and the subsequent structure formed during coating. The aim of the present work was to enhance the adhesion between nanoparticulate coatings and stainless-steel substrates. A covalent particle structure was formed and better mechanical properties were achieved by modifying alumina nanoparticles, as well as substrates, with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane and by using a formulation consisting of solvent, modified particles, and bisphenol-A-diglycidylether as cross-linking additive. In addition to the adhesion force needed to remove the coating from the substrate, the type of failure (adhesive or cohesive) was characterized to gain a deeper understanding of the structure formation and to identify interdependencies between process, formulation, and coating structure properties. The modification process and the formulation composition were varied to achieve a detailed conception of the relevant correlations. By relating the results to other structural properties, such as the theoretical porosity and thickness, it was possible to understand the formation of the coating structure in more detail.