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Glue

A barnacle-encrusted camera found by Gizmag writer Ben Coxworth

If you place pretty much any type of solid material in the ocean, barnacles will firmly attach themselves to it. If you were to try applying a glue to any of those materials while they were underwater, however, it likely wouldn't stick. So, what do barnacles know that we don't? Scientists have recently discovered the answer, and it could lead to advances in human technologies.  Read More

The adhesive fibers in one of the man-made attachment discs, holding down a nylon thread

In recent years we've seen a number of attempts at artificially replicating the strong-yet-light characteristics of spider silk. It turns out that the silk itself isn't the only thing that's inspiring scientists, however. Researchers from the University of Akron have recently created their own version of the "attachment discs" that spiders use to secure their silk fibers to surfaces, when building webs. These man-made discs could conceivably prove superior to conventional glues as a form of adhesive.  Read More

A new adhesive gel could keep injured soldiers from losing their vision (Photo: Aiding our...

When soldiers or other people sustain eye injuries, retinal detachment and vision loss can result if the eye's vitreous gel isn't kept from leaking out. Given that Band-Aids can't be placed directly on the eyeball, however, a team of scientists from the University of Southern California has created an alternative – reversible eye glue.  Read More

A model zeolite molecule, illustrating its porous structure and large inner surface area (...

It has been estimated that up to 85 percent of all wood materials (such as particleboard or plywood) contain adhesives that in turn contain formaldehyde, and the World Health Organization has classified formaldehyde as a carcinogen. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to simply avoid eating those wood products – even the fumes given off by formaldehyde have been shown to pose a health hazard. Many people turn to keeping spider plants in their homes or offices, as they help neutralize airborne toxins, but now help could be coming from another source. German researchers have discovered that by adding special minerals to wood adhesives, those adhesives themselves can help clean the air.  Read More

Kryptonite provides five to ten times the mechanical strength of the breastbone closure of...

Stories about Kryptonite are sure to pique interest, and this one has both a "super" and a scientific angle. Canadian researchers are using a super glue called Kryptonite to create a stronger closure of the breastbone for heart patients after open chest surgery. This means faster recovery time, fewer complications and less post-operative pain.  Read More

Potentially toxic petroleum-based wood adhesives may soon give way to safer soy-based glue...

Two thousand years ago Jesus may have walked on water, but soon we may be walking on food. In a bid to become more environmentally sustainable, scientists have unveiled a new "green" alternative to commonly used petroleum-based wood adhesives. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Products Laboratory in Wisconsin, speaking at this week's 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, talked about the development of a soy-based glue. The substance is derived from food products such as soy milk and tofu, and could mean a new generation of eco-friendly flooring, furniture, cabinets and other wood products.  Read More

In the search for a hot-melt composite adhesive Professor Kaichang Li noticed a sticky res...

It happens often in research. While looking for one thing, scientists stumble across another. In this case, researchers at Oregon State University's College of Forestry were looking for an elusive wood-based adhesive that would be solid at room temperature but melt when the heat was turned up. What they stumbled upon was an easily produced, environmentally benign, pressure sensitive adhesive which holds the potential to be cheaply produced from a wide range of vegetable oils.  Read More

The giant mushroom-like structure that is the 'Parasols' in Seville, Spain, are glued, not...

Could you confidently gallivant under huge mushroom-like structures knowing that they had been glued – not bolted – together? The architects and engineers of the “Parasols” in Seville, Spain, certainly hope so because the design features components that are stuck to each other in such a way. Understandably, they say the biggest problem was finding a glue that could withstand 60°C (140°F) and therefore wouldn’t melt in Seville’s summer heat. This is a fairly important criterion for the free-standing parasols that cover an area of 150m x 70m - one of the largest architectural timber structures ever built. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research WKI in Germany have adhered to the challenge and stuck with a formula they believe will do the job.  Read More

A study on the glue that holds spider webs together brings us closed to producing bioadhes...

Spiders are remarkable animals: with over 40,000 classified species, they are among the most diverse known to man and can adapt to the most radical climatic conditions. The silky substance they produce to spin webs has been extensively studied and is known to rival steel in strength: a less-known fact, however, is that the "glue" that holds it all together is just as remarkable, and could soon become the key to producing stronger bioadhesives to replace petroleum-based products.  Read More

Bioengineers are attempting to emulate glue created by the sandcastle worm (pictured) to r...

A sea creature called the sandcastle worm could hold the secret to repairing broken bones in humans. The screws and pins favored by many surgeons today have achieved much success over the years, but they are not suitable for repairing all kinds of fractures. For more precise reconstruction of compound fractures and shattered bones, bioengineers have looked beyond metal hardware and have now duplicated a natural glue secreted by the tiny sandcastle worm. The research team hopes it will provide a better solution to fixing small bones broken in battlefield injuries, car crashes and other accidents.  Read More

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