Creep response of joints bonded with single-layered pressure sensitive adhesives (PSAs) was investigated in this study. PSAs are becoming more and more popular in the electronic industry as bonding media because of their ease of design, fast accurate bonding, environmentally-friendly bonding and ease of reworking. Such adhesive bonds are expected to experience complex, sustained loading conditions in service; e.g. loading due to large mass components, shock, temperature, or alignment mismatch of substrates. Stress-strain behavior of PSA bonding assembly has been extensively studied through experiments and simulations, including the effects of loading conditions (loading rate and temperature), PSA configurations (thickness of adhesive and single/double-layered PSAs), and bonding substrate surface properties (substrate material and surface roughness). However, the literature regarding the creep response of PSA-bonded assemblies is lacking and there is no literature on modeling methodologies for the creep response of such bonding systems.
Similar to the stress-strain behavior of PSA-bonded assemblies, the creep response includes transitions between multiple hardening and softening phases. Experimental results indicate that the secondary creep rate can change by up to two orders of magnitude after each transition, which is too significant to ignore when estimating the creep deformation of joints bonded with this material system. The number of transitions is related to the configuration of the PSA system, i.e. the single-layered PSA has one transition while double-layers PSAs may have multiple transitions due to the additional interface(s) introduced by the carrier layer. This unique secondary creep behavior comes from the competition between hydrostatic stress relaxation and strain hardening, caused by cavitation and fibrillation processes, respectively. The total stress applied on the joint is equal to the summation of deviatoric stress and hydrostatic stress. An advanced model based on the stress-strain ‘block’ model [5–7] is developed for evaluating the creep response. This model has the capability to control the initiation and growth of cavities in the bulk of the PSA and at the interface between PSA and substrate. This model is able to capture the nonlinear visco-plastic behavior of the PSA fibrils and estimate the effects of flexible carrier layer on the transitions in creep curves. The model prediction shows reasonable agreement with experimental results in terms of the characteristic features in creep strain histories.