Advances and Opportunities in Soft Adhesives

Posted on 10/28/2013 2:49:14 PM By Costantino Creton

Soft adhesives or pressure-sensitive-adhesives (PSA) have been known for some time in applications and in particular the ubiquitous Scotch tape has been commercialized since 1930. However, as it is often the case, the understanding of the physics behind their remarkable performance has been lagging behind innovation. Early work in the 60’s and 70’s focused on understanding peel tests and the connection between peel force and linear viscoelastic properties of the adhesive material.  For several decades the field was then mainly occupied by industrial research, and the major advance of the 80’s was probably the development and systematic use of a better version of the probe tack instrument by Zosel at BASF. His seminal series of experiments spanning ten years provided the basis of a modern vision, based on polymer physics, of what should be the structure of PSA and how it controlled its adhesive properties.

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