Clever design makes sticky tape that’s strong but easily removed

Clever design makes sticky tape that’s strong but easily removed

The oblong cuts on this sticky tape make it laborious to take away by pulling from the left finish, however simple within the different path

Alex Parrish for Virginia Tech

A technique to modify sticky tape impressed by kirigami, the Japanese artwork of paper reducing, might make it 60 occasions stronger, whereas remaining simple to peel off.

There are two fundamental varieties of adhesives: robust ones which can be laborious to take away, akin to duct tape, and people that may be simply peeled off, akin to sticky notes. What’s lacking is an adhesive that mixes the properties of the 2 – one that’s strong however simply eliminated when wanted, says Michael Bartlett at Virginia Tech.

Bartlett and his colleagues have provide you with an answer primarily based on kirigami. “Our inspiration was to make use of the geometry, or the reducing of the tape, to manage its properties with out having to revamp the chemistry,” he says.

To create the tape, the group laser-cut three sides of a rectangle in a repeated sample in a strip of sticky tape, to create flaps (see photograph). In the event you peel it off a floor so that you encounter the uncut facet of the rectangle first, it’s simple to separate.

Nevertheless, the group discovered that it was a lot tougher to take away the tape for those who peel in the wrong way. As an alternative of 1 easy movement, each time you encounter a reduce within the tape you want to flip round and return on your self to separate it from the floor. This issue provides it its excessive power: the researchers discovered that this easy modification might improve the adhesion of the tape by an element of 60. “Meaning we will basically take a bit of fabric like a Publish-it observe and make it as robust as duct tape,” says Bartlett.

The tape might be helpful in conditions the place you want a excessive adhesion pressure in a particular path, akin to hanging a photograph body. What’s extra, the group discovered that it might probably persist with a variety of supplies, together with metal, glass, plastic and Teflon, and even works underwater.

Sooner or later, Bartlett says that these modified tapes might be used within the manufacture of robots and electronics that will profit from trouble-free disassembly.

“What’s elegant about [this] work is the shockingly easy answer,” says Jamie Paik on the Swiss Federal Institute of Expertise in Lausanne. “In contrast to earlier approaches, this methodology doesn’t require any particular mixture of supplies, manufacturing processes or moulds.”

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