Geckos have already provided inspiration for adhesive products such as Gecko Tape. Now Ford, in association with Proctor & Gamble with The Biomimicry Institute, a nonprofit committed to promoting the innovative approach of looking to nature for sustainable solutions to modern-day challenges, will be investigating a means of mimicking the gecko’s ability to stick to almost any surface. They aim to develop adhesive technologies that Ford will be able to use for bonding foams to plastics and metals.
Ford recently hosted a forum at its Dearborn campus with participation from Procter & Gamble and The Biomimicry Institute where nearly 200 researchers and designers took part in the day-long session to learn about biomimicry and how to apply it to their work.
It is hoped that the research will produce a solution that will improve bond quality, reduce costs and allow for greater recyclability of foam and plastics. A representative from Proctor & Gamble said that the biomimicry approach opened new avenues for problem-solving research. Ford noted that solving this problem could provide cost savings and certainly an environmental savings. “It means we could increase the recycling of more foam and plastics, and further reduce our environmental footprint.”