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Bio-inspired solution for optimal adhesive performance

Antonio Papangelo's picture

In recent years there has been a growing interest into high performance bioinspired adhesives. This communication focuses on the adhesive behavior of a rigid cylinder that indents an elastic layer coated on a rigid substrate. With the assumption of short range adhesive interactions (JKR type) the adhesive solution is obtained very easily starting from the adhesiveless one. We show that ultrastrong adhesion (up to theoretical material strength) can be reached in line contact by reducing the thickness of the layer, typically down to the nanoscale size, which suggests a new possible design for ”optimal adhesion”. Adhesion enhancement occurs as an increase of the actual pull-off force, which is further enhanced by Poisson’s ratio effects in the case of nearly incompressible layer. The system studied could be an interesting geometry for an adhesive system, but also a limit case of the more general class of layered systems, or FGMs (Functionally Graded Materials). The model is well suited for analyzing the behavior of polymer layers coated on metallic substrates.

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