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Relating Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO) Microstructure to Paint Adhesion



Mark R. VanLandingham


Advances in the use of the atomic force microscope (AFM) to characterize polymeric materials have recently been made. Phase imaging with the AFM has emerged as a powerful technique, providing contrast enhancement of topographic features and, in some cases, revealing heterogeneity in the polymer microstructure that is not apparent in the topographic image. The enhanced contrast provided by phase images often allows for identification of different material constituents. To obtain a more quantitative comparison of polymer properties, the capability of the AFM to measure nanoscale indentation response has also been explored. Both techniques are ideal for the evaluation of multi-phase and multi-component polymer systems. For these types of materials, micro- and nano-scale properties that are difficult to evaluate with current experimental techniques control important aspects of the system performance. In this presentation, the use of the AFM to characterize blends of polypropylene and an elastomer, called thermoplastic olefins or TPOs, will be discussed. AFM results will be related to measurements of TPO cohesion and TPO-paint adhesion.
Proceedings Title
Second International Coatings for Plastics Symposium
Conference Dates
May 24-26, 1999
Conference Title
International Coatings for Plastics Symposium


atomic force microscopy, building technology, nanoindentation, phase imaging, polymer blend, thermoplastic olefin


VanLandingham, M. (1999), Relating Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO) Microstructure to Paint Adhesion, Second International Coatings for Plastics Symposium (Accessed June 16, 2024)


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Created May 1, 1999, Updated February 19, 2017