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19 Sep
Beetle Feet Inspire New Type of Silicone Beetle Feet Inspire New Type of Silicone

Beetle Feet Inspire New Type of Silicone

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Scientists are mimicking the behavior of insects while designing a type of silicone that is more adhesive than previous versions. The team of researchers at Kiel University spent time studying the feet of male leaf beetles, which feature a design similar to a mushroom. This design allows them to easily move across surfaces like ceilings and walls without gravity taking its course.

To design their new type of silicone, researchers shaped silicone elastomers into mushroom shapes, then treated them with plasma. They found that the material’s adhesiveness was helped along by the chemical, but the curvature worked with the plasma to better stick to surfaces.

This technology can be used in a variety of products, including micro-robots. The Kiel Group has already been able to put its research to work in designing an extremely strong adhesive tape. This tape follows what is known as the “gecko principle,” which allows it to be removed from a surface without leaving residue.

Scientists often study insects for inspiration as they design various products. In 2011, scientists discovered that the adhesive hairs on the bottom of insects, lizards, and spiders allow them to adhere to various surfaces. Since that discovery, researchers have worked hard to find real-world applications for this type of technology.

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Read 2269 times Last modified on Tuesday, 11 September 2018 00:15
Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and novelist whose work has appeared on NYPost.com, PSMag.com, the Intuit Small Business Blog, and many others. She is the Simon & Schuster author of 8 children's books, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series, 25 Roses, and 30 Days of No Gossip.

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