Stickier Adhesives Discovered at Surrey
Tuesday 20 October 2009
Surrey Physics researchers have discovered that adding a small amount of clay to adhesives makes them stick better. The clay was combined with soft plastic to make nanoparticles, which have a size that are more than 200 times the width of a human hair. When the nanoparticles were added at very low concentrations to normal adhesives, more energy was required to pull the adhesive off of surfaces. Applications for this type of adhesive include tapes, labels, and decals but also high performance areas such as in the aerospace and automobile industry.
The right arrangement of the clay in nanoparticles was needed to improve the adhesive’s performance. If the clay was added to an adhesive without being included in a nanoparticle, there was not a large effect on the stickiness. Plastic nanoparticles without clay likewise were not effective. The researchers found that only the combination of the clay and the plastic in the nanoparticles used higher energies when the adhesive was being pulled off surfaces.
The research was carried out by Dr. Tao Wang, who recently completed his PhD degree, under the supervision of Prof. Joe Keddie, in close collaboration with a group at the University of Warwick, led by Dr. Stefan Bon. Funding for Dr. Wang’s study was provided by a University Research Scholarship and an Overseas Research Student award.
Prof. Keddie, leader of the Soft Condensed Matter group at Surrey, commented: “This recent discovery is just one of many examples of outcomes from the recent investment into the Surrey Materials Institute laboratories. When talented students are able to carry out research in excellent facilities, then the results will undoubtedly be very exciting.”
The results were reported in the top-ranked journal, Soft Matter. The editors selected the work to be featured on the cover of the 21 October issue.