By Tuan Nguyen
Posting in Design
Researchers demonstrate the strength of Geckskin by taping a giant flatscreen TV to a flat surface.
Installing a theater-sized flat screen television may soon be as easy as taping it to the wall the way you would a movie poster.
It's all made possible by Geckskin, a new invention that can hold up objects as heavy as 700 pounds on a smooth wall. The brainchild of researchers at the University of Massachusetts, the adhesive pad can be released with negligible effort and used over and over again without losing strength. The researchers demonstrated its gripping power by sticking a 42-inch television to a wall, releasing it with a gentle tug and re-sticking it to another surface without leaving any sticky residue.
Like many other super-adhesives in development, the idea came from mimicking the gravity-defying clinging abilities of the gecko. Other examples of gecko-inspired adhesives include geckel, a material that combines a gecko-properties with a synthetic glue-like material found in mussels and a "Super tape" that's strong enough to support the weight of a full grown man.
- Related Post: 'Super tape' can support the weight of a full grown man
Holding up 700-pound objects, however, is taking adhesive muscle to a whole other level entirely. The difference with Geckskin is that while previous efforts modeled their designs based on the suction qualities of microscopic hairs on the lizard's toes called setae, the researchers took a different approach that went beyond the legendary gecko-feet.
"A gecko’s foot has several interacting elements, including tendons, bones and skin, that work together to produce easily reversible adhesion, researcher Duncan Irschick explained.
Instead, they created an integrated adhesive by using a soft pad woven into a stiff fabric, allowing the pad to "drape" over a surface to maximize contact. Further, as with natural gecko feet, the skin is woven into a synthetic "tendon," yielding a design that plays a key role in maintaining stiffness and rotational freedom, according to the researchers. The Geckskin pad also uses simple everyday materials such as polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), which holds promise for developing an inexpensive, strong and durable dry adhesive.
The researchers hope to improve their Geckskin design by drawing on lessons from the evolution of gecko feet, which has a widely varied anatomy.
"It's a concept that has not been considered in other design strategies," said Alfred Crosby, professor of polymer science and engineering. "One that may open up new research avenues in gecko-like adhesion in the future."
(via New Scientist)
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Feb 21, 2012
Read the story people. This is not what the tape is made for, they used a tv glued to the wall as a demonstration to show it's holding power.
"objects as heavy as 700 pounds on a smooth wall" I don't know about your house, but the vast majority of houses in the United States use Drywall for interior walls...and the majority of this drywall comes from China...and is rather substandard when compared to drywall from the 60s and 70s...as such, I would not trust *ANYTHING* mounted on a wall unless it was anchored into a stud...and 700 pounds on sticky-tape on the average living room wall? Wow, I can't wait for those lawsuits to come!
sorry, i missed the part about biodegradeable. do we need more lazy and "convenient" glue or more recyclable metal and screws? On the otherhand, can I wrap my kid up and stick him on the wall? Wait - only kidding!
WILL YOUR PLASTER WALL COME DOWN, SURE. THIS TAPE BETTER COME WITH A WARRANTY THAT WILL REPLACE YOUR TV AND A MEDICAL PLAN IF THAT TV FALLS ON TOP OF YOUR CHILD. GOOD LUCK I'M NOT BUYING IT.
You would still need some kind of mounting to prevent issues. 1) Child bumps up against it, hard, while running in room. 2) Earthquake or the like. 3) The glue may hold it to the wall, but does the wall have the ability to support the weight or will the paint/dry wall just peel off over time? 4) Does humidity or temperature changes effect the adhesion properties?
A former student spent the summer doing the research to identify the method geckos use. It was a small project with a small budget, but there have been a few other spin-offs as well.
Can the paint on the wall hold 700 lbs? It sounds too easy. You still have to have anchors into the wall studs to hold a 50-60 lb unit on a wall.
It does hold the TV on the apparatus, but a few questions remain. How well will it work on a flat wall? How long will it hold the TV to the wall? How do vibrations impact the adhesion? Do temperature variances have an impact? How about humidity?
two of your concerns are similar to mine plus all my concerns appear in a different order. the humidity question. will the wall "hold up" over time? i, for one, would not worry about kids as i will elevate the mounting. (sound obscene?) and earthquakes? the safety of my t v would be low priority in that scenario.