Akron introduces dry adhesive technology

ShearGrip dry adhesives technology

US-based Akron Ascent Innovations (AAI), a high-tech start-up, says it has launched an innovative dry adhesive technology that offers a unique combination of ease of use, strong adhesion, and damage-free clean removal not possible with today’s conventional adhesives.

The groundbreaking dry adhesive product, based on biomimicry research studies at the University of Akron, consists of millions of solid, sub-micron-diameter nanofibres that interact with microscopic surface contours for strong shear adhesion, but has nearly zero tackiness and low peel force. The first-generation nanofiber-based dry adhesive product, called ShearGrip, eliminates the common difficulties and damaged surfaces that accompany the use of traditional adhesives.

ShearGrip can be laminated to a range of face stocks including printable papers and polymer films and applied to a range of surfaces – painted walls, doors, laminated wood, windows, cabinets, and mirrors. The first line of commercial products, called The Pinless collection, is based on paper facestock for consumer and office applications.

The launch of ShearGrip follows nearly five years of R&D supported primarily by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programme, and marks the end of AAI’s transition from lab-scale process to commercial product. “Our breakthrough dry adhesive technology represents a paradigm shift for the adhesives market in terms of enhanced performance and capabilities and unlocks many new application opportunities,” said Barry Rosenbaum, President, CEO, and co-founder of Akron Ascent Innovations.

ShearGrip dry adhesives are produced using an electro-spinning process currently used widely in the filtration market, but never before used for adhesives. The ShearGrip dry adhesive platform makes use of the high surface area and high strength of nanofibres spun from a proprietary polymer blend formulation to provide unique directional adhesive characteristics. The initial commercial products will be offered in customizable roll stock with applications in development for a range of market segments including consumer/industrial goods, film/labels, packaging, transportation, and electronics.

Dry adhesives are a new type of pressure-sensitive adhesive inspired by nature. Rather than relying on liquid-like adhesives or requiring chemical reactions to form a strong bond between two surfaces, dry adhesives work based on the same principle as gecko feet, gaining strength from millions of solid fiber surface contacts. AAI’s reusable dry adhesive consists of solid fibres that are 100 times thinner than a strand of hair and have substantial holding strength but peel off easily and cleanly, allowing the adhesive film to be easily removed and repositioned without leaving behind adhesive residue or damaging the surface. The adhesive is easy to apply, displays no bubbles, and is suitable for short and long-term applications.

In the next phase of commercialization, AAI says it is actively seeking collaboration with customers in a range of target markets.


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