Akron Ascent Innovations LLC (AAI), a high-tech startup, has reportedly launched an innovative dry adhesive technology that offers a combination of ease of use, strong adhesion, and damage-free clean removal not possible with today’s conventional adhesives. The dry adhesive, developed from early biomimicry research studies at the University of Akron, consists of millions of solid, sub-micron-diameter nanofibers that interact with microscopic surface contours for strong shear adhesion, but with nearly zero tackiness and low peel force. The first-generation nanofiber-based dry adhesive product, ShearGrip®, eliminates the common difficulties and damaged surfaces that can sometimes accompany the use of traditional adhesives.
“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, Ph.D., president, CEO, and co-founder of Akron Ascent Innovations.
Laminating and Applying
The adhesive can be laminated to a range of facestocks, including printable papers and polymer films, and applied to a variety of surfaces, including: painted walls, doors, laminated wood, windows, cabinets, and mirrors. The first line of commercial products, the Pinless™ collection, is based primarily on paper facestock for consumer and office applications.
The dry adhesives are produced using an electro-spinning process currently used widely in the filtration market, but reportedly never before used for adhesives. The dry adhesive platform makes use of the high surface area and high strength of nanofibers 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.
Inspired by Nature
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.
The reusable dry adhesive consists of solid fibers that are 100 times thinner than a strand of hair. These fibers have substantial holding strength but peel off simply and cleanly, allowing the adhesive film to be easily removed and repositioned without leaving behind adhesive residue or damaging the surface. The adhesive products are easy to apply and reposition without bubbles, and are suitable for short- and long-term applications. It performs well on a range of surfaces, including metal, glass, drywall, cardboard and plastic, with dynamic shear strength exceeding 80 lbs/sq in.
The dry adhesive products are being launched for use in both consumer and industrial applications. For consumer applications, the Pinless™ products are now available for home and office applications, crafting, home décor, and print photo markets. The adhesives will also be available in the commercial print industry for use in commercial signage and printable photo paper.
The launch reportedly follows nearly five years of research and development supported primarily by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, and marks the end of AAI’s transition from lab-scale process to commercial product. In the next phase of commercialization, AAI is actively seeking collaboration with customers in a range of target markets.
For more information, visit www.akronascent.com.