UCSB Scientists Develop Super Glue for Underwater Adhesion


Monday, January 9th, 2017 - Transparency Market Research

Analysts at business intelligence firm Transparency Market Research (TMR) nperfectly describes the need for adhesives and sealants. In a recent report, the lead analyst of the study states: Given the characteristic of binding two substances or surfaces together, adhesives and sealants are most often used in industries where the integrity of the final commodity is of vital significance. The construction and automotive sectors, as a result, are the largest end users of adhesives and sealants. 

The report indicates that the evolutionary nature of the adhesives and sealants market is likely to boost its growth from US$22.70 billion in 2012 to US$31.64 billion by 2018 at a 5.7% CAGR.

Discussed below are some of the recent developments in the adhesives and sealants market.

UCSB Scientists Develop Super Glue for Underwater Adhesion

A team of researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) last month developed a type of super adhesive that can be used under water. The need for adhesives that stick under water drove the scientists to focus on natural adhesives that work in an aqueous environment. Two chemicals – catechol and lysine – were found to work best for underwater adhesion. The findings of the study by UCSB scientists Michael Rapp, Jacob Israelachvili, Herb Waite, Greg Maier, and Alison Butler appeared in the journal Science. 

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An Adhesive that Hardens when Electrocuted

At the end of August, researchers at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University created an adhesive that hardens only when electric current is applied. Voltaglue is not affected by environmental changes and does not lose any of its strength when exposed to high moisture or heat. Assistant professor Terry Steele and his team developed Voltaglue by using hydrogels made out of carbon molecules. When electrocuted, the reactive carbon molecules release and stick to nearby surfaces. 

Byproduct of Cotton Production as Alternative to Petroleum-based Sealants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists are presently working on using a byproduct of cotton production to develop a biobased interior wood adhesive. Cottonseed meal, leftovers after oil and lint are extracted from cotton seed, is usually used as livestock feed or fertilizer, but is currently being studied as a biodegradable environmentally friendly alternative to petroleum-based adhesives and sealants. 

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Adhesives Designed for Use on UV-Coated Surfaces 

Tape adhesives usually have no or poor adhesion quality when used on UV-coated materials. Essentra Specialty Tapes recently introduced a series of double-sided adhesive tapes that can stick well to UV-coated surfaces on cartons, boxes, POP displays, posters, easels, and danglers. These tapes are made from specially modified hot melt rubber-based and acrylic adhesives.

Increasing investment on product research and development by the industry, backed by the presence of innovative and dedicated manufacturers such as BASF, Dow Chemical Company, and 3M are likely to boost the adhesives and sealants market in the near future.

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Left to right: Jacob Israelachvili, Michael Rapp, Greg Maier, Herb Waite and Alison Butler. Photo Credit: SONIA FERNANDEZ

News Date: 

Monday, January 9, 2017