New Adhesive that Debonds in Magnetic Field May Increase Recyclability of Materials

Posted on 12/5/2019 8:01:16 AM By ASC

A University of Sussex research team says that it has developed an adhesive that could help to increase the recyclability of materials by debonding in a magnetic field. The team says that a plethora of products that would otherwise have been destined for landfills can now be disassembled, with component materials bring recycled instead. Adhesives are used to bond a variety of components that are used in, among others, the automotive and consumer electronics industries. These have often been difficult to disassemble when they reach the end of their useful life, generating landfill waste.

The researchers have published their findings in the European Polymer Journal, and report that their new adhesive formula will release its bonds when exposed to an alternating electromagnetic field. They say that the adhesive can be used to bond a wide variety of substrates including glass, metal, plastics and wood, but that the bond is released within 30 seconds. The debonding process relies on electromagnetism heating up metal particles in the adhesive which then melts, leaving very little residue. The process is safe for personnel and eliminates the need for the chemicals often used when debonding components for recycling.

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