Light guiding is used to direct light from an emitting source to a different location. It is frequently realized through a clad–core structure with a difference in the refractive index of the materials. This paper explores the possibility of combining a fluoropolymer (THV) film of low refractive index, serving as a cladding layer, with a polycarbonate (PC) core, via injection molding. Pristine THV lacks adherence to the PC. However, when treated with O2 plasma prior to overmolding, bonding can be established that was quantified in peel tests. The effect of this surface treatment was further investigated by adjusting the plasma treatment duration and time to overmolding. Furthermore, parameter studies comprising the four molding parameters, namely packing pressure, injection speed, melt temperature, and mold temperature, were performed. Numerical injection molding simulations assessed the prevailing temperatures at the PC–THV boundary. Consequently, the temperature–time integral could be calculated and linked with the measured peel strengths by fitting a proportionality constant. While the plasma treatment duration showed minor influence, the activation diminished with time, halving the measured peel loads within 24 h. The adhesion was experimentally found to increase with a lower packing pressure, faster injection speed, and higher melt and mold temperature. Those same molding relations influencing the peel loads were also found with the temperature–time integral when scaled by the proportionality constant in the simulations (R2=85%). Apparently, adhesion is added by molding settings which promote higher interface temperatures that prevail for longer. Hereby, the faster injection speed increases the melt temperature through shear heating. A higher packing pressure, in contrast, presumably increases the heat transfer at the PC–THV interface, accelerating the cooling. The measured peel loads were 0.3–1.6 N/mm for plasma-treated samples and nearly zero for pristine THV.
Bibliographische NotizFunding Information:
This work was conducted by the Austrian COMET program within the project Smart@Surface No. 871495. The project received funding from BMVIT, BMDW, and the provinces of Styria (SFG), Tyrol (Standortagentur Tirol), and Burgenland.
© 2023 by the authors.