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Electro-sensitive glue is a rival to fasteners

01 April, 2002

Electro-sensitive glue is a rival to fasteners

An American company has developed a high-strength glue that loses its adhesive properties when a low voltage DC current is passed through it. The ElectRelease adhesive, which was originally developed to help the US Air Force to attach test packages temporarily to jet aircraft travelling at up to twice the speed of sound, is now being sold as an alternative to mechanical fasteners, welds and other adhesives.

According to its UK supplier, Electromotif, the adhesive is ideal for long-term applications where parts need to be taken apart occasionally for maintenance.

ElectRelease is a two-part epoxy which cures at room temperature and works with most metals including aluminium alloys, stainless steel and copper. It bonds within 48 hours with a lap shear strength of 17.2kPa. When a voltage of 10-50V DC is applied across the bond, it separates in between 5 seconds and 20 minutes, depending on the voltage and the load on the bond. The current required is small, so no heating occurs during the disbonding process.

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