Fusion bonded epoxy (FBE) has been used for quite some time now either as a stand-alone
single/multi-layer coating or as a primer for the three layer polyolefin coatings. Interfacial adhesion of
coating to steel has been recognized as an important property of coatings to prevent steel substrates
from corrosion. However, the coating industry has not been able to reliably measure quantitatively the
interfacial adhesion of FBE coating to steel. FBE coating usually has a high initial interfacial adhesion
to steel (estimated to be higher than 6000 psi) that exceeds the conventional pull-off adhesion test
equipment capability. Its wet adhesion strength, though expected to be lower, has not been
successfully measured either. Glue failure at the coating to dolly interface is common due to poor
bonding of the dolly to the damp coating surface. In several international standards, different types of
knife test are utilized to qualitatively assess the adhesion of FBE coating. Unfortunately, the knife test
is often useful only for distinguishing the difference between good and poor interfacial adhesion. To
quantitatively assess the interfacial adhesion of FBE coating to steel, a more reliable and repeatable
test method is needed. In this paper, the notched coating adhesion (NCA) test method is presented.
This test method has been used to quantitatively assess the interfacial adhesion degradation of FBE
coating, from an initial high value to a lower value due to aging in water and air at high temperature.
Keywords: FBE, interfacial adhesion, NCA, notched pre-crack, critical strain energy release rate,
critical bending strain, elastic and plastic deformation, water absorption, fixed radii bending tester.