Geckos are little masters as far as adhesion is concerned; they seem to even easily annul defined gravitational laws. Why are they able to do that?
The answer: Tiny nanohair on their feet help geckos to build up mechanical grip on extremely smooth surfaces and to defy gravity. According to scientific estimations, geckos have 6.5m hairs on each of the 4 toes. Costly examinations have been made to measure the adhesive power. Scientists found that the nanohair on geckos‘ toes create countless contacts to smooth surfaces. The results are Van-der-Waals forces, an inconceivably tiny adhesive power in the molecular range. Geckos are thus able to activate a total adhesive power of 10 times their body weight.
Nature uses this technique of adhesive power several times. Insects too make use of it. Geckos, however, are the champions in their class!
A fascinating solution of nature that is worth having a closer look at and considering it in technical applications.
RUDOLF GROUP‘s textile coating division has orientated itself according to nature for quite some time. Thus, we have succeeded in developing a new adhesive system for textile surfaces that imitates the geckos‘ properties. To improve adhesion to smooth surfaces without using adhesive systems is an important challenge to many textiles.
As described above, gecko coatings with countless adhesive points, especially on smooth materials such as glass (see fig.), wood or varnished surfaces, create adhesive power that exceeds by far the own weight of finished fabric samples. It is proved that even effects of the weather do not affect it.
Fields of application of gecko coatings
- Heat insulation
- Covers for window-screens protecting from sunlight, ice and snow
- Sun protection on glass façades
- Rapid insulation of all types
- Advertising boards
Textile properties of gecko coatings
- Highly adhesive on all smooth surfaces
- Easily removed without glue residues
- Easily cleaned when soiled, the peeling resistance is rapidly restored
- Highly heat-resistant
- Flexible to cold and resistant down to -30°C
Technical application properties of gecko coatings
- Solvent-free transfer coatings (based on water)
- Environmentally friendly
- No explosion-protected coating ranges necessary
- Easy handling