Characterization and reactivity of sodium aluminoborosilicate glass fiber surfaces

Lymaris Ortiz Rivera, Victor A. Bakaev, Joy Banerjee, Karl T. Mueller, Carlo G. Pantano

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10 Scopus citations


Multicomponent complex oxides, such as sodium aluminoborosilicate glass fibers, are important materials used for thermal insulation in buildings and homes. Although the surface properties of single oxides, such as silica, have been extensively studied, less is known about the distribution of reactive sites at the surface of multicomponent oxides. Here, we investigated the reactivity of sodium aluminoborosilicate glass fiber surfaces for better understanding of their interface chemistry and bonding with acrylic polymers. Acetic acid (with and without a 13 C enrichment) was used as a probe representative of the carboxylic functional groups in many acrylic polymers and adhesives. Inverse gas chromatography coupled to a mass spectrometer (IGC-MS), and solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), were used to characterize the fiber surface reactions and surface chemical structure. In this way, we discovered that both sodium ions in the glass surface, as well as sodium carbonate salts that formed on the surface due to the intrinsic reactivity of this glass in humid air, are primary sites of interaction with the carboxylic acid. Surface analysis by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) confirmed the presence of sodium carbonates on these surfaces. Computer simulations of the interactions between the reactive sites on the glass fiber surface with acetic acid were performed to evaluate energetically favorable reactions. The adsorption reactions with sodium in the glass structure provide adhesive bonding sites, whereas the reaction with the sodium carbonate consumes the acid to form sodium-carboxylate, H 2 O and CO 2 without any contribution to chemical bonding at the interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-334
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Surface Science
StatePublished - May 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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