The proposal addresses needs of the European pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) industry, which makes unimportant contribution to Europe's economy and encompasses chemical suppliers, polymer producers, coating companies and end-users. Environmental and health restrictions on emission of organic solvents from industrial processes have driven development of water-borne Pass (by-Pass), which are based on colloidally-stableaqueous dispersions of polymer particles with diameters of 100-400 nanometres and whose composition, internal structure and surfaces can be controlled on dimensions of a few nanometres during synthesis. Due toothier socio-economic benefits, there is an increasing demand for by-Pass in high performance applications, particularly in the healthcare, aerospace and automotive, construction and assembly, and data tracking industries. A major problem for the PSA industry is that, in comparison to solvent-cast materials, by-Pass suffers limitations in adhesive strength and in their ability to bond to non-polar substrates. The proposed work programme will establish, through fundamental research, strategies by which the performance of by-Pass cane controlled so that these limitations can be overcome. A key strategy will be to synthesise particles designed to introduce nanometre-scale heterogeneities, which are expected to enhance adhesive performance by producing extensive, fine cavitations during depending. A second, related strategy is to synthesise particles with surfaces that are designed to adsorb at interfaces with substrates in order to increase the strength of adhesion, particularly to non-polar substrates. This fundamental study will inform the development of industrial-scale processes and prototypes for high-performance, commercially viable by-Pass. The academic and industrial participants are drawn from four European countries and offer complementary expertise in polymer synthesis, film characterisation.
- FP6-NMP - Nanotechnologies and nanosciences, knowledge-based multifunctional materials and new production processes and devices: thematic priority 3 under the 'Focusing and integrating community research' of the 'Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area' specific programme 2002-2006.
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