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Methods for Fast and Reversible Dry Adhesion Tuning Between Composite Structures and Substrate Fields

Description:

 

Background:

How do geckoes and even Spiderman climb up walls? They use a process call dry adhesion. This process is not only useful for climbing walls but also has potential applications in robotics such as pick-and-release robotic manipulators and climbing robots. Further, it is also useful in manufacturing for transfer printing, as well as temporary adhesives.

 

Technology:

Scientists at University of Nevada Reno and University of Pennsylvania have invented a method to actively tune the effective dry adhesion strength with a flat surface and an opposing rigid smooth surface. This method can be used for manufacturing and assembly processes where quick pick-and-release of flat, rigid and smooth objects is needed. Rigidity-tuning of one component can be achieved through low melting point alloys (LMPA), rigidity tunable elastomers, and any other material that can quickly change their stiffness in response to a stimulus. A step-by-step manufacturing procedure has been created including laser patterning. The resulting dry adhesion is completely tunable for rigid core stiffness and stress distribution close to the interface. As a consequence, the pull-off adhesive force is also dynamically tuned.

 

Advantages:

  • Avoids the need for external heating methods
  • Reduces operation time and costs associated with implementing the methods as compared to conventional methods requiring such external heating. 
  • Makes it possible to obtain dry adhesion change ratios that are greater than those obtained with conventional methods. 
  • Allows tunable and changeable dry adhesion strength (which is measured as the dry adhesion force divided by the contact area).
  • And allows dry adhesion change ratios on the order of 6 to 30, and even as high as 50.

 

Publication and Patent:

  • Nasab Amir Mohammadi, Sabzehzar Amin, Tatari Milad, Majidi Carmel, and Shan Wanliang. Soft Robotics. December 2017, 4(4): 411-420. https://doi.org/10.1089/soro.2016.0039
  • Provisional patent filed 2017

 

 

UNR17-006

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Shannon Sheehan
Manager, Technology Commercialization
University of Nevada, Reno
ssheehan@unr.edu
Inventors:
Wanliang Shan
Kevin Turner
Keywords: