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Clinging of preformed films to other solids can be measured unequivocally, and the two most common causes of it are outlined. The real adhesion of films, applied as a liquid and then solidifed on the substrate, cannot be measured because mechanical separation of the film from the substrate exactly along their interface is almost impossible. Recent confirmations of this impossibility are reviewed. In the tests intended for measuring this adhesion, very often the tensile strength of the film material is determined, albeit in an indirect manner. In many other systems, the experimental breaking stress depends on a layer spread along the above interface. The use of the term adhesion for the strength of coatings is not advisable.
adhesion, breaking stress, capillary attraction, electrostatic attraction, films, improper joints, proper joints, rupture, weak boundary layers
Adjunct professor, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio