Adhesive

  • The promise of reusable sticky things, from Post-it Notes to Blu Tack, has never quite been fulfilled. They're just never quite as sticky the second time around, or the third. But now, a team of engineers thinks it has an answer, inspired by one of nature's great stickers, the humble, slimy snail.
  • ​Depending on their formulation, most adhesives fail either when they're exposed to excessive humidity, or when they dry out in arid conditions. Honeybees, however, don't have such problems with their "pollen pellets." A new understanding of why this is so could lead to better manmade adhesives.
  • ​Electronic waste is a growing problem, and if we're ever going to get on top of it, then we need to be able to recycle electronic devices as thoroughly as possible. Thanks to a new temperature-sensitive adhesive, doing so could soon be easier than ever.
  • Harvard scientists have led an international team to develop a new surface that can reconfigure its shape, stickiness or slipperiness on demand, through the application of a magnetic field.
  • ​When the Dusky Arion slug feels threatened, it secretes a mucus that makes it almost impossible to remove from whatever surface it happens to be on. Inspired by that, scientists have created an adhesive gel that could conceivably be used in the human body.
  • A few years ago, we saw a tool called Bondic, which fixes things by applying a layer of liquid plastic that will only set hard when it’s exposed to an included UV light. Now the company is back with BondicEvo, a new model that reportedly improves the "liquid plastic welder."
  • Science
    Researchers at Georgia Tech have discovered that frog saliva switches between watery and viscous states, allowing the animals to both catch prey and then whip it back into their mouths. The findings could have implications for human technology.​
  • ​If you're lifting a delicate object, you don't want to exert too much pressure on it, nor do you want to leave it covered in sticky residue. That's why scientists have developed an adhesive material that not only doesn't leave residue, but that can also be remotely "turned on and off" via UV light.
  • Researchers have developed a new dry adhesive that not only bonds in extreme temperatures, it even gets stronger as the heat goes up. The gecko-inspired material maintains its hold in extreme cold and actually gets stickier in extreme heat.
  • Science
    Octopi are well-known for their grabby tentacles. Now, scientists have developed a material that mimics the sucker discs on those tentacles. It could be used for adhesive pads that are reversible, reusable, fast-acting, and effective even in wet conditions.
  • Anyone who has tried to clear ivy from the side of their house will know the British climber is almost impossible to unstick. A team at Ohio State University has studied the tiny particles giving ivy its vise-like grip, with a view to creating better medical and industrial adhesives.
  • Researchers at the Max Planck Institute have created an adhesive from the metal gallium that has on-demand reversible glue-like properties that could have applications in everything from industrial electronics processes to switchable adhesive feet for climbing robots.