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Single-ply roofing has now become a significant factor in today's industrial and commercial flat-roofing market. The single-ply roof made from ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber, while possessing outstanding sheet properties, does present opportunities to improve seam adhesion owing to the inert nature of the EPDM and the surface presented for on-site bonding.
The author examines the surface of several commercial EPDM sheets with the scanning electron microscope and finds an absolute requirement for cleaned surfaces for adhesion. Classical adhesion theory is used to suggest ways to improve or develop adhesive systems that would be more compatible with EPDM. Of all adhesive systems available, the neoprene-phenolic contact adhesive is the predominant class used on site.
Results from peel and shear testing of adhesive joints made from EPDM membranes with contact adhesive are revealed with and without a proprietary primer designed to bridge the polarity between rubber and adhesive. This primer is suggested for further study to improve adhesion on field applied lap seam joints.
roofing, ethylene propylene diene monomer, adhesives, primers, bonding
Senior market development representative, Adhesives Division, Lord Corporation, Erie, Pa.