Engineering a Stronger PSA Tape Through the Art of Japanese Kirigami Cutting

Adhesives, Industry News,

Engineering an adhesive tape that is both strong and easily removed is the ideal and much sought after solution for a large variety of applications in several industrial and consumer markets. Enter the ancient Japanese paper cutting art form of kirigami, which has informed the development of tape with impressive strength yet is effortless to peel from applied surfaces.

Researchers from the University of Colorado, Virginia Tech, Iowa State University and University of Nebraska-Lincoln adapted kirigami principles in a framework for establishing slices or cuts across an adhesive, focusing on the benefits of a series of U-shaped cuts. A stronger adhesive results from such controlled cutting by realizing reverse crack propagation, which forces the separation path to go backwards at specific sites. The path moves forward by peeling the material in the opposite direction, facilitating easy removal.

Applying these cuts rendered the bond of commercially available tape stronger by a factor of 60 while still allowing for easy removal by peeling in the opposite direction.

The process detailed in Nature Materials boosted the bonds of every type of tape tested, from packaging tapes to medical tapes; strong adhesive bonds become even stronger and normally weaker adhesives also increased in strength.

This was demonstrated in a comparison of kirigami-cut and unaltered tapes applied to seal cardboard boxes. A brick dropped on the box with the re-engineered tape simply bounced off without causing damage, while the same treatment collapsed the lid of the sample bearing unaltered tape.

Michael Bartlett’s team at Virginia Tech has adapted kirigami into a method for increasing the adhesive bond of ordinary tape by 60 times.

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Source: Virginia Tech