Adhesion Promotion Primers

Aculon® manufactures materials for improved adhesion between substrates and coatings. Three of our most popular adhesive products are primers. These primers, as well as their active ingredients, are available by contacting us. Larger quantities or custom formulations are available upon request.

Aculon® also offers Laboratory Services to assist with implementing this novel technology into your process or product. Sometimes problematic adhesion issues not only require the appropriate Aculon® Primer or Adhesion Promoter, but they also require surface analysis of the existing surface as well as the proper surface preparation or cleaning solution before the priming/coating step(s).

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Adhesion Primers

Aculon® Adhesion Promotion Surface Treatments or Primers improve the adhesion characteristics of metals (and other oxo or hydroxyl functional substrates) through the use of self assembled monolayers of phosphonates (SAMPs). The most common use of SAMP containing Adhesion Primers is to improve the adhesion of metals to polymeric coatings. Aculon® Primers contain reactive groups that will strongly bond with coatings containing functional groups such as epoxies, polyurethanes, acrylates, and oxide particles.

Aculon® Primers are easy to apply and can solve problematic adhesion issues. Also, their actives can be blended into existing formulations for increased surface adhesion of coatings and adhesives.

  • Eliminate Adhesive Failures
  • Tunable Wetting Properties for Adhesives and Coatings
  • Monolayer to Multilayer thicknesses 1-2nm up to multi-nanometers (nm) thicknesses
  • Uniform Thicknesses at the Nanoscale
  • Optically Clear (100% transmission for Visible Light)
  • Easy to Apply: Dip, Wipe, Print, Roll-Coat or Spray
  • Minimal Capital Equipment Requirements
  • Apply in Minutes – Room Temperature cure in less than 5 minutes for most substrates

Adhesion Promoter Functions Chart


Do you have large volume needs or have a specialized application requiring vendor support? If our OTS offerings don’t suit your needs please reach out so that we can discuss a custom implementation of our technology for your process or application. We can optimize a process for you then either treat your parts at our facility or provide you with the materials and procedures to treat on your own! Click the button below to submit your information and an applications expert will reach out to see how we can assist. Please note: At this time we are a B2B company and do not support consumer inquiries.

Liquid Adhesion Promoters

Step 1: Clean

Parts must be sufficiently clean prior to treatment for proper bonding and effective application. See “Cleaning” tab for more detail.

Step 2: Primer

Option – Dip

Apply Aculon® Adhesion Promotion Surface Treatment via dip bath for 30 seconds to fully treat parts with a uniform treatment ensuring even coverage over entire part. Aculon® Primers comes in convenient 1L or 4L quantities for dipping applications.

Option – Wipe

Apply Aculon® Adhesion Promotion Surface Treatment via a simple wiping process. Using a clean cloth, wipe the treatment across the surface in a buffing motion.

Option – Spray

Spray the solution onto the substrate using double passes. Post-application curing is recommended for best performance.

Spray Equipment Suggestions
HVLP (Binks Mach 1), HVLP (Devilbiss JGHV), Air Atomization (Devilbiss MBC gun) and Airless (Graco Model 225-292 President Pump Series A).

Step 3: Apply your coating on top of the primer

Powder Adhesion Promoters


For use as a formulary additive. The recommended loading ranging between 0.1%-5% by weight depending on the coating or adhesive.


For robust bonding and optimum performance a properly cleaned and prepared surface is imperative when using Aculon® Adhesion Promotion Surface Treatments. Cleaning Methods can be summarized into Good, Better, & Best Options. The cleaning options below assume that the part being treated has first been sufficiently degreased and cleaned of all visual contaminants. Optimal bonding is typically achieved when a water break free surface is achieved (usually better & best cleaning options).

Water break free surface for cleaning


Often times a good enough cleaning method is sufficient when your process needs to be simple and future reapplication is not inconvenient. Good enough cleaning methods sufficiently clean the surface but do not necessarily achieve a water break free surface, which indicates a perfectly clean surface. Examples of good enough cleaning methods include:

  • Windex
  • IPA
  • Other Solvent Degreasers


When performance and durability are important or when reapplication is not practical a more reliable and an efficient cleaning method is necessary. Better options are designed to achieve a water break free surface (perfectly clean) on the vast majority of parts against a variety of different contaminations. Better cleaning methods typically utilize more aggressive chemicals and may require rinsing or specific procedures to ensure proper results. Examples of “better” cleaning methods include:

  • Aculon® 905 (Room Temp Caustic cleaner)
  • Ceria polish (abrasive scrub)
  • Comet abrasive (or other polishing compound)


When performance and durability are critical and reapplication is absolutely not practical the absolute best cleaning options are required. These options are designed to achieve a uniform water break free surface (perfectly clean) reliably on all parts. These Best cleaning methods utilize more aggressive chemicals requiring rinsing and specific steps to ensure proper results. In some cases physical cleaning methods are utilized. Care should be taken when using these methods as they are potentially hazardous to the operator and part to be coated. Examples of “best” cleaning methods include:

  • Aculon® 907 (Heated Caustic cleaning dip)
  • Argon Plasma
  • Corona Discharge
  • Piranha bath (H2SO4/H2O2)


Not sure what level of cleaning your parts require? Contact Aculon® and we will work with you to determine the level of cleanliness needed for your application and to determine a cleaning method that fits your process.


How thick is the treatment?
Depending on the deposition technique, at least one monomolecular layer is deposited, which for most Aculon® Primers is approximately 2-4 nanometers (nm) in thickness.

How do you know it is only 2-4 nm thick?
Via QCM, AFM, and XRD we have quantified monolayer thicknesses. Also, the actives generally react with the surface but not themselves, so theoretically the treatments are limited to the chemistries monomolecular chain lengths.

Can I see the treatment?
No, it is 100% optically clear. Minus the change in performance your properly treated part will look exactly the same.

100% clear? Really? There must be some reflected or absorbed loss?
Yes 100% clear, 100% transmission with no reflected or absorbed losses. Spectral reflectance can not detect the coatings presence on the surface.

Do I need to clean the part? It looks clean enough.
Yes, to get a properly performing coating it must be cleaned no matter how it looks just prior to treatment. Unseen organic and inorganic contaminants can prevent bonding. Atmospheric contaminants will quickly contaminate a part that has been left to sit.

How do I know if the part is 100% clean?
It is water break free. Note that “good” cleaning options may not clean to this level.

Is it possible to over apply the primer?
Yes, if excess primer is not soluble in the applied coating, excess material can interfere with adhesion. In this case, rinsing the Primer after application is necessary to improve adhesion. IPA is an effective solvent to remove excess primer.

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