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Intentional polymer particle contamination and the simulation of adhesion failure due to transit scratches in ultra-thin solar control coatings on glass

Lookup NU author(s): Krishna Belde, Professor Steve BullORCiD


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The major in-service failure mechanism of modern solar control coatings for the architectural glass can be mechanical (e.g., scratch damage). Many of these coatings are multilayer structures of less than 100 nm thickness and different coating architectures are possible (i.e., different layer materials, thickness and stacking order). For high-performance solar control coatings deposited by physical vapour deposition processes the active layer is a thin silver coating (approx. 8 nm thick) surrounded by antireflection coatings (e.g., ZnO, SnO2) and barrier layers (e.g., TiOxNy). Scratches are often found during delivery of the coated glass (called transit scratches) and it has been determined that the cause of the scratches was the polymer balls sprayed onto the glass to separate sheets while in transportation. This study has developed a simulation test for the transit scratches and has determined that the adhesion of layers within the multilayer stack is critical in determining performance. To test the adhesion of the coatings, coated samples have been subjected to scratch tests using a range of indenters and the most visible damage has been characterised. Through-thickness cracks were observed and it was seen that the coating was stripped by the balls at the weakest point in the coating stack. Microanalysis reveals this weakest point to be the silver/zinc oxide interface in the materials analysed in this study. (c) Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008

Publication metadata

Author(s): Belde KJ, Bull SJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology

Year: 2008

Volume: 22

Issue: 2

Pages: 121-132

ISSN (print): 0169-4243

ISSN (electronic): 1568-5616

Publisher: VSP


DOI: 10.1163/156856108X306902


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