Linking peel and tack performances of pressure sensitive adhesives
The performances of Pressure Sensitive Adhesives (PSA) are generally evaluated using different loading geometries such as tack, peel and shear tests. It is difficult to link the behaviors of PSAs in these different geometries, and to predict the result of one test from another, because the confinement of a soft and dissipative material prevents the use of standard fracture mechanics, which separates the interface debonding behavior from the dissipation associated with the bulk deformation. We present here an original experimental investigation based on the modeling strategy proposed by Creton and Ciccotti. Using instrumented versions of both peel and tack measurements, we compared the adherence performances of a series of model PSAs based on styrene–isoprene block copolymers, while identifying the mesoscale mechanisms at play during debonding. This analysis method allows us to model the contribution of the large strain rheology of the PSAs in the total work of debonding. We clearly show that both the adherence performances and local mechanisms can be closely related between peel and tack when considering both similar confinement and a similar strain rate of the fibrils that are spontaneously formed during debonding. While the overall adherence properties change by a factor of 3 between the different samples, the peel tests only present a minor +20% bias in adherence, which can be attributed to the combination of a 10% increase in the average stress and a 10% increase in the maximum strain of the fibrils. This improvement in the understanding of the PSA performances opens the way to a more sound mechanical design of PSA based joints.