Researchers Produce Super Sticky, Reusable Tape Using Kirigami Technique
Researchers at Iowa State University of Science & Technology have developed a carefully designed Kirigami cut tape which is 10 times stickier than the usual tapes.
They found that putting cleverly designed cuts in a clingy film make it stick strongly but release easily when pulled in a specific direction.
Rectangular Cuts for Increased Adhesion
Bartlett and his colleagues sandwiched a 0.75-mm-thick polyethylene film between flexible polydimethylsiloxane sheets.
Then they laser-cut it with a simple pattern consisting of two columns of periodic rectangles running the length of the tape like windows.
The researchers fine-tuned the sheet’s reversible stickiness by carefully experimenting with the spacing and dimensions of the rectangular cuts and the areas of tape around them.
They achieved the strongest adhesion when the tape had thick divisions between the tops and bottoms of the windows and thinner divisions along the edges of the tape and between the two rectangular columns.
Japanese Art Inspires Reusable and Strong Tape
The Japanese paper-cutting art of Kirigami has recently gained the attention of engineers and materials scientists as a tool for designing unusual devices and materials.
Researchers have used the paper-cutting technique to make:
Stretchable batteries and conductors;
Solar panels with movable, sun-tracking solar cells;
Complex three-dimensional structures that pop up from flat sheets and
The new entry in the list is the reusable sticky tape.
Use of Van der Waals forces' to Stick to the Surface
Other strong, reversible adhesive tape uses van der Waals forces to stick to surfaces. This is inspired by the microstructures on the bristles that cover gecko toe pads. Making those 3-D structures requires complex procedures and equipment. But the new approach of the tape also relies on Van der Waal’s forces for its stickiness and uses:
Simple sheets of plastic film and
Fast laser cutting.
Michael D. Bartlett, a researcher at Iowa State University of Science & Technology said, “It’s counterintuitive, you would think cutting the tape would make it less adhesive, but well-designed cuts let you enhance and precisely control adhesion. The kirigami structures influence how much force you need to apply to remove the material.”