The effect of substrate pre-treatment on durability of rubber-stainless steel adhesion

E. Sarlin, M. Honkanen, M. Lindgren, P. Laihonen, M. Juutilainen, M. Vippola, J. Vuorinen

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In many applications, rubber linings protect metal surfaces from the environment and prolong the service life of the metal components significantly. The loss of adhesion and resulting premature failure at the rubber-metal interface may generate an un-planned shutdown and production losses. This work focuses on the effect of various sand blasting methods on the long-term adhesion between bromobutyl rubber and stainless steel in a hot and humid environment. Softer austenitic stainless steel and harder, chemically more resistant super duplex stainless steel grades were used as substrates. It was found, that the developed interfacial area ratio Sdr, which is the additional surface area contributed by the texture as compared to the planar definition area, had the best correlation with the sand blasting media characteristics, namely to the hardness. The proportionality between other sand blasting medium characteristics and the Sdr value was poor. The initial adhesion between the rubber and the substrates was defined by the cohesive strength of the rubber and unaffected by the substrate characteristics and the sand blasting medium contaminants on the substrates. After a 4–12-week exposure in hot and humid environment, the use of corrosive sand blasting medium (steel grit) resulted in significant adhesion loss whereas the use of inert sand blasting media (feldspar or corundum) maintained the adhesion better. However, the adhesion system at the interface degraded causing performance loss. Neither the better corrosion resistance of super duplex stainless steel nor increased surface roughness improved the reliability of rubber lining in extreme conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100646
Number of pages9
JournalSurfaces and Interfaces
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Ageing
  • Sand blasting
  • Steel-rubber adhesion
  • Surface roughness

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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