Shoes, cars, airplanes, rotor blades for wind turbines, self-adhesive notes, plasters this is just a sample of the many products featuring adhesives. More than 820,000 tons of adhesive were produced in Germany in 2010, according to the German Adhesives Association Industrieverband Klebstoffe. To this day the majority of adhesives are manufactured from petroleum-based materials. Only gradually is the industry also offering adhesives made from renewable raw materials such as starch, cellulose, dextrins, and proteins. Pioneering products featuring these new adhesives include wallpaper pastes and glue sticks.
Adhesive based on polylactic acid
In two projects, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT are working on further new adhesive formulas based on renewable raw materials. In cooperation with the Recklinghausen site of the Westflische Hochschule, University of Applied Sciences, and the companies Jowat, Logo tape, and Novamelt, and with support from Germany's Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, researchers at UMSICHT in Oberhausen are developing a pressure-sensitive adhesive for industrial applications. Products using pressure-sensitive adhesives include adhesive bandages, self-adhesive labels, and adhesive tapes. They are subject to particularly demanding requirements: They have to remain permanently adhesive at room temperature. Gentle pressure should suffice for them to adhere to almost all substrates, and yet it must be possible to remove them without leaving behind any residue. To achieve this, the adhesive force must precisely match the respective use.
Pressure-sensitive adhesives are based on backbone polymers, which give the adhesives their inner strength (cohesion). The challenge for the UMSICHT researchers is to develop a backbone polymer from the raw material polylactic acid. What makes this biological material particularly attract
|Contact: Dr. Stephan Kabasci |