Researchers from two Canadian universities hope to increase the strength and corrosion resistance capabilities of everything from protective clothing, to medical implants, to residential plumbing, thanks to a newly-developed 'hyper glue' formula.
The team of researchers from the University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus (UBC) and the University of Victoria (UVic) have discovered a method of bonding plastics and synthetic fibers at the molecular level in a procedure called cross-linking, which occurs when the adhesive is exposed to heat or long-wave UV light. This creates strong connections that are both impact-resistant and corrosion-resistant, even with a minimal amount of cross-linking.
According to Abbas Milani, director of UBC's Materials and Manufacturing Research Institute, and the lead researcher at the Okanagan node of the Composite Research Network, this 'hyper glue' is especially effective in high-density polyethylene—an important plastic used in applications such as bottles, piping, and plastic lumber. "In fact, commercially available glues didn't work at all on these materials," he says, "making our discovery an impressive foundation for a wide range of important uses."
One of those uses could change the game for remodelers and builders alike. "Imagine paints that never peel or waterproof coatings that never need to be resealed," says Milani. "We're even starting to think about using it as a way to bond lots of different plastic types together, which is a major challenge in the recycling of plastics and their composites."
The hyper glue formula may not be ready for commercial application in construction yet, but it's always worth keeping an eye on new tech.
(For more information, check out the original press release from UBC Okanagan.)