Using Kirigami to Produce a Stronger, More Easily Removable Adhesive

Michael Bartlett’s team at Virginia Tech aimed to make adhesives both strong and easily removable — a seemingly paradoxical combination. To do so, they adapted kirigami, the ancient Japanese art of cutting paper, into a method for increasing the adhesive bond of ordinary tape by 60 times. Watch this video to learn more.

“By placing the cuts in specific locations, we can activate this reverse crack propagation to tune adhesion strength at any film location and it further enables the programming of adhesive strength in two directions simultaneously in a single region of a film. We also use a rapid digital fabrication approach, so we can quickly create highly customizable adhesives with tunable strength. This is a very exciting methodology for the development of future adhesives,” said Michael Bartlett , assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech.