Adhesion Science, Engineering and Technology

Learning objectives


This course aims to provide students with a fundamental understanding of adhesion mechanisms of organic material to solid surfaces. Furthermore, the physico-chemical interactions will be related to engineering applications, such as coating and adhesive bonding of metals. After the course, the student will be able to address:

  • the character of interfacial bonding at the macro- and microscale
  • different types of interactions between organics and solid surfaces
  • the effect of organic and solid surface chemistry on interfacial bonding
  • failure and degradation mechanisms of interfacial bonding
  • surface treatment for improved initial and durable interfacial bonding
  • techniques to study and assess interfacial bonding
  • engineering design aspects for optimized interfacial bonding


Special emphasis will be put on the study of coating/adhesive-metal Interactions:

  • basics of metal-coating interface morphology and chemistry
  • polymer and metal surface chemistry effects
  • failure and degradation mechanisms
  • traditional and advanced experimental techniques to study metal-polymer
  • Physical and mechanical properties of adhesive bonding
  • Polymer chemistry
  • Surface chemistry related to adhesion
  • Effect of adhesion on durability and corrosion resistance
  • Unfavourable adhesion phenomena (a.o. contaminations and biofilms)
  • Engineering criteria for adhesive bond design
  • Techniques for adhesion evaluation


The student should have basic knowledge and interest in:

  • Physical and mechanical properties of materials
  •  General chemistry
  • Organic and physical chemistry
  •  Surface science
  • Material-material and material-environment interactions

Required background

The PhD candidate should have basic knowledge and interest in:

  • Physical and mechanical properties of materials
  • General chemistry
  • Organic and physical chemistry
  • Surface science
  • Material-material and material-environment interactions

Course material

The main course text book:
Alphonsus V. Pocius, Adhesion and Adhesives Technology, 3rd Edition, Hanser publisher

Part 1: Basic definitions and mechical properties

  •  Chapter 2: The Mechanical properties of Materials as they relate to Adhesion
  •  Chapter 3: Mechanical Tests of Adhesive Bond Performance

Part 2: Surface and polymer chemistry

  • Chapter 4: The Basics of Intermolecular Forces and Surface Science
  • Chapter 5: Basic Physico/Chemical Properties of Polymers
  • Chapter 6: The Relationship of Surface Science and Adhesion Science
  • Chapter 8: The Chemistry and Physical Properties of Structural Adhesives
  • Chapter 10: The Chemistry and Physical Properties of Elastomer-Based Adhesives
  • Chapter 11: Thermoplastic, Pseudothermoplastic, and Other Adhesives

Part 3: Application and characterization techniques

  • Chapter 7: The Surface Preparation of Adherends for Adhesive Bonding
  • Chapter 9: Durability of Structural Adhesive Bonds
  • Chapter 12: Adhesion in Biological Systems
  • Chapter 13: The Basis for Adhesive Bond Design

Background literature and text book on surface chemistry:

  • Jacob N. Israelachvili, Intermolecular and Surface Forces (Third Edition)
  •  Selection of related scientific articles and book chapters to discuss

ECTS credits:

Dr. Peyman Taheri

Schedule and dates:
Five 2,5 hour discussion meetings together with lectures, for which the students prepare by reading chapters of the book and presenting some slides.

Two sessions per year. Tuesday mornings 9.30-12.00hr: schedule for 2020:

  1. 7 April; 14 April; 21 April; 28 April; 5 May 2020.
  2. 6 October; 13 October; 20 October; 27 October; 3 November 2020.

Group sizes:
The course will be offered for a minimum of 4 participants and a maximum of 10 participants per session. Access will be on a first come first served basis.

Take-home assignment to write an essay of a selected topic.

PhD candidates wishing to participate should contact Dr. Peyman Taheri by email ( at least two weeks before the start of the course, indicating their primary study, supervisor/promoter and preferred start date.