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Gecko feet inspire the development of an amazing glue that can hold 317.5 kg on a smooth wall
For years, biologists have been stunned by the power of the gecko's feet, which allow these 142-gram lizards to produce an adhesive force equivalent to carrying about 4kg up a wall without slipping. Now, a team of polymer scientists and a biologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have figured out exactly how it does this, prompting them to invent "Geckskin," a device that can hold 317.5 kg on a smooth wall.
Doctoral candidate Michael Bartlett of Alfred Crosby's Polymer Science and Engineering Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is the lead author of the paper describing the discovery in the current online issue of the journal Advanced Materials.
In addition to its impressive adhesion capacity, the device can be detached with little effort and can be reused many times without losing its effectiveness.
These properties offer the possibility of having synthetic materials that allow to easily hold and release heavy objects of daily use such as televisions or computers on walls, in addition to other medical and industrial applications, among others, says Crosby.
According to the authors, this combination of properties has never been achieved at these scales before. Crosby adds: "Our Geckskin device is about 0.01 m2, roughly the size of a card and can sustain a maximum force of around 318 kg adhered to a smooth surface like glass." Source: Sciencedaily
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