Fundamentals of Adhesion Science (Short Course)


Fundamentals of Adhesion Science

June 24, 25 and 26, 2013

Sponsored by the Golden Gate Polymer Forum and
Presented by Professors John G. Dillard, Garth L. Wilkes, and David A. Dillard

with an added 1-day bonus program

Smart Design for Adhesion: An Industrial Perspective

June 27, 2013

Michaels at Shoreline

2960 N Shoreline Blvd
Mountain View, CA 94043
(650) 962-1014
Get directions


Days 1-3

This 4-day program starts with a 3-day course focused on how attendees can use the important fundamentals of adhesion science to solve practical bonding challenges. Presented by faculty members from Virginia Tech, this section will focus on three fundamental perspectives: surfaces, polymer behavior, and mechanics of adhesive joints. This will be followed by a 1-day symposium on a range of applications from industrial experts.

All topics are presented in a practical manner to foster learning by those with some technical education or background. Attendees can expect to learn about surfaces and interfaces, polymer structure property relationships relevant to adhesives, and the stresses and failure of adhesive joints. Building on these fundamental insights, participants will gain many practical insights into surface preparation, time-dependent adhesive characterization, test method selection, surface and failure analysis, joint design, and adhesive durability.

The course promises to be an exceptional opportunity based on the combination of three experienced teachers from a renowned polymer and adhesion science research program, a series of industrial speakers with broad practical insights into adhesive applications, a convenient location in the Bay Area, an affordable price, and a focus on practical applications.

Day 4

The 4th day of the program, titled “Smart Design for Adhesion: An Industrial Perspective”, sponsored by companies including Exponent Failure Analysis Associates, Plasma Technology Systems, Adhesives Research and Evans Analytical Group, will provide industrial and examples of adhesion-related failures and practical solutions. Topics will include advances in adhesive and surface modification technologies and surface analytical methods for quality control.

The fourth day offers flexibility and may be included as part of the short-course or attended as a stand-alone event.

Who Should Attend

• Any scientist, engineer, or technician who works with bonding, joining, or adhesion issues, including those using polymeric adhesives or sealants, and their applications in a research, development, product design, or manufacturing environment.
• Managers in polymer and manufacturing industries will greatly benefit from this broad-based introduction to adhesion issues and opportunities in the field.
• The course is structured for those Individuals with a scientific or engineering background and those with industrial experience in technology who would like to learn the basics andimportant fundamentals of adhesion science and integrated with applications to practical applications to adhesive bonding and engineering challenges.

Benefits of Attending

• Learn how a range of surface preparation methods can improve adhesion to metallic, inorganic, and polymeric substrates.
• Gain important insights into important polymer structure-property relationships that affect adhesion and appropriate adhesive characterization methods to examine their time and temperature dependence.
• Understand the stress states induced in a range of joint designs and how these affect measured properties and joint performance.
• Review surface analysis techniques and understand their applications for characterizing surface quality prior to bonding and for examining failed joints to troubleshoot bonding failures.
• Learn about adhesive rheology, how adhesive properties depend on time, temperature, and aging, and how this time dependence affects joint properties.
• Learn about appropriate strength and fracture testing methodologies and data interpretation along with implications for joint design.
• Gain an understanding of the importance of surface issues, polymer properties, and joint design can affect engineering performance and bond durability.
• Learn how to use accelerated characterization techniques to estimate long-term performance and reduce testing time and expenses.


Day 1 June 24 Short Course

I. Introduction to Polymer Parameters and Adhesion (G. Wilkes)
II. Surface Energies and Adhesion (J. Dillard)
III. Understanding Stresses in Adhesive Joints (D. Dillard)
IV. Mechanical Response of Polymeric Adhesives (G. Wilkes)
V. Surface Characterization (J. Dillard)
VI. Fracture Mechanics Applications to Adhesion (D. Dillard)

Day 2 June 25 Short Course

VII. Surface Preparation of Metals (J. Dillard)
VIII. Adhesive Test Methods: Strength and Constitutive Properties (D. Dillard)
IX. Amorphous State, Free Volume, and Physical Aging (G. Wilkes)
X. Surface Preparation of Plastics (J. Dillard)
XI. Adhesive Test Methods: Fracture and Peel (D. Dillard)
XII. DMA: Time and Temperature Dependent Properties of Adhesives (G. Wilkes)

Day 3 June 26 Short Course

XIII. Pressure Sensitive Adhesives: Characterizing Performance (D. Dillard)
XIV. Morphological Considerations of Adhesives (G. Wilkes)
XV. Surface Failure Analysis (J. Dillard)
XVI. Durability and Accelerated Characterization (D. Dillard)
XVII. Polymer Rheology - Adhesive Application and Use (G. Wilkes)
XVIII. Surface Analysis and Durability (J. Dillard)

Day 4 June 27 Symposium

XIX. Introduction: Common Pitfalls
Dr. Haskell Beckham, Sr. Managing Scientist from Exponent and Professor, School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Tech.
XX. Invited Speakers
a. Dr. Jeffrey Gotro, President, InnoCentrix, LLC. (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) "Applications of Adhesives in Electronics: Enabling Highly Reliable Devices"
b. Dr. Gozde Karabiyik, Adhesives Research (Glen Rock, PA) "Recent Developments in Pressure Sensitive Adhesives: A new family of "Low Trauma" skin contact adhesives".
XXI. Session 1: Advances in Adhesives

a. Recent Developments in Pressure Sensitive Adhesives: A new family of “Low Trauma” skin contact adhesives
XXII. Session 2: Emerging Surface Modification Technologies 
a. Mr. Stephen Kaplan, founder and chief technologist, Plasma Technology Systems, Belmont, CA.
b. Mr. Tim Smith, Vice President, Operations, Plasmatreat, Ontario, Canada.
XXIII. Session 3: Quality Control: Surface Analysis Tools 

a. Evans Analytical Group, Sunnyvale, CA
b. Dr. Giles Dillingham, Brighton Technologies Group, Inc. (Cincinnati, OH) “Surface Energetics and Adhesion: The Quantitative Prediction of Interfacial Toughness via Wetting Measurements” 
XXIV. Wrap-up: Design Considerations for Failure Prevention

Dr. Haskell Beckham.


John G. Dillard is Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at Virginia Tech. His research efforts have been in the general area of surface chemistry. Research projects have focused adhesive bonding of polymeric materials, metals and electronic materials. Research accomplishments in the area of adhesion have resulted in obtaining an understanding the role of surface treatment on bond failure in durability studies of adhesively bonded polymer-polymer, polymer‐metal, and metal‐metal systems. Advances to improve durability have included surface treatments involving gaseous plasmas, plasma polymerization, and plasma spraying. He is a Robert L. Patrick Fellow of the Adhesion Society. He has served as Vice‐ Chairman and Chairman of the Gordon Research Conference on Adhesion.

Garth L. Wilkes is Emeritus University Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at Virginia Tech. His research focuses on the processing/ structure/property behavior of polymeric materials including adhesive systems. He has published nearly 400 papers that address a wide range of amorphous and semicrystalline polymers along with their applications. He has taught in over 300 industrial short courses where he addresses the fundamental and applied aspects of polymeric materials. He also served as the co-director of the polymer program at Virginia Tech for over 25 years.

David A. Dillard is the Adhesive and Sealant Science Professor in the Engineering Science and Mechanics Department at Virginia Tech. He has worked extensively in the field of adhesive bonding, having experience in structural adhesives for aerospace, automotive, and infrastructure applications; adhesives and coatings for microelectronic applications; pressure sensitive adhesives; elastomeric adhesives and sealants, ; and polymeric membranes, sealants and adhesion issues in alternative energy systems. He has coauthored over 160 publications in refereed journals and regularly teaches courses in adhesion science and viscoelasticity. His research activities focus on developing test methods and predictive models for understanding and estimating the performance and durability of adhesives and bonded joints, using the principles of fracture mechanics and viscoelasticity. He is a Robert L. Patrick Fellow and former President of the Adhesion Society.



  • The location of the course will be Michaels at Shoreline, 2960 N Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94043
    (650) 962-1014
    Get directions
  • Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided on site each day at no additional charge.
  • Additional instructions will be provided to those who register for the event before the deadline of June 16 by June 20.
  • Hardcopy lecture notes will be provided to all attendees.
  • The instructors will stay until 6:00 PM to discuss specific issues.



  • Registration for Days 1-3 "Fundamentals of Adhesion Science" Short Course

Early Registration (Until 11:59PM June 2, 2013): $785

Late Registration (June 3 - June 16 2013): $885

  • Registration for Day 4 "Smart Design for Adhesion: An Industrial Perspective" program

Early Registration (Until 11:59PM June 2, 2013): $75

Late Registration (June 3 - June 16 2013): $95

  • Registration for Days 1-4 "Fundamentals of Adhesion Science" Short Course and "Smart Design for Adhesion: An Industrial Perspective" program

Early Registration (Until 11:59PM June 2, 2013): $860

Late Registration (June 3 - June 16 2013): $960

  • No reservations will be accepted after 11:59PM June 16, 2012 or after the class size limit of 70 is reached.
  • Advance Registration and payment required. No drop-ins will be allowed.
  • No reservation will be considered complete until payment is received.



(1) Begin the registration process on at the bottom of this web page and follow the instructions there. Use the drop down menu to select your registration option for either "Days 1-4", "Days 1-3" or "Day 4"
We will need your name, affiliation, and contact information as requested.
After selecting "Verify", you will be prompted to Pay by Credit Card or Pay by Check. If you choose to pay by Credit Card, you will be directed to pay at PayPal. You will receive an email notice when payment has been confirmed. If you select pay by check, please contact Lothat Kleiner ( for further instructions.  Your registration is not complete until a check is received.

If your company requires it, the GGPF Tax ID# will be provided to you by e-mailing a request to Eveleen Tang at Please note that the conference registration fee covers the short course expenses and is not a tax deductible donation.

(2) Your registration will not be complete until payment is received. For purposes of registration dates, or for first-come first-served issues, we will use either your date of registration by credit card or the post office date on the envelope which contains the check.

(3)An automated e-mail receipt will be provided as soon as you register and is usually sufficient for corporate reimbursement. You will also be given a receipt when you arrive for the class on the first day.

(4) Reservations will be accepted in the order received until the class size limit is reached. We expect to be able to accommodate 70 attendees per day. Early reservations are encouraged. No reservations will be possible after June 16 or after attendance limits have been met.

(5) If someone else registers for you, make sure that your information is provided as the intended registrant.



(1) Cancellations by you: allowed until June 16 - you will receive a refund minus a fixed $50 administrative cancellation fee. You must cancel in writing or e-mail and have a verifiable acknowledgment from us that you have cancelled in time. No cancellations allowed after June 16. Registrants who fail to attend and who did not cancel in time will not receive a refund. If you personally cannot attend, another attendee from your organization may substitute (by arrangement only; contact Lothar Kleiner).

(2) Cancellations by us: in the unlikely event that not enough registrations are obtained, the class will be cancelled. If this happens, you will be notified by June 2 and you will receive a full refund.



For course content, or to pay by check, contact Lothar Kleiner,

For registration difficulties contact

If you can’t reach any of the above, contact Clayton Henderson,, Bruce Prime,, or Mikki Larner,

We are sorry but registration for this event is now closed.

Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.