The Future of Car Manufacturing? Sticky 'Velcro' Car Parts

Aug 20, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- It may sound improbable but plastic car parts could one day be joined together like Velcro, and peeled apart when it comes to recycling or disposal.

Engineers from the Warwick Manufacturing Group are developing a new technique that involves coating the surface of car components, such as bumpers and wing mirrors, with a surface of nanometre-sized “hooks and eyes”.

Gordon Smith, the lead researcher of the project told The Engineer Online that: “We were able to show that microscale and even nanoscale indentations were picked up and reproduced by the plastic surface. The idea was then born that if you could somehow engineer those surface to have the same sort of hooks and eyes as Velcro, it would be an ideal way of bonding surface together.”

The challenge now is to see if this technique applies to the large scale production of car parts, and also to make the components hard to steal or vandalise.

Smith and colleagues were recently awarded £60,000 by the Warwick Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre to develop their technique, and the project has received some initial interest from Jaguar Land Rover.

Visit the Warwick Manufacturing Group website: www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/

Provided by University of Warwick

Explore further: Using 3-D printing, MakerBot and Feinstein Institute repair tracheal damage

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Drought sees Rio's main hydro plant turned off

5 hours ago

A major Rio hydroelectric power plant was switched off after water levels slipped below an operational minimum following severe drought, Brazil's national grid told AFP on Thursday.

Recommended for you

Modular disability aids for world's poorest

10 hours ago

Brunel University London design engineering student Cara O'Sullivan's final year project aims to help developing countries make their own disability aids using modular components.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

NOM
not rated yet Aug 25, 2008
Neil Farbstein also has a patent for serial lying on web forums.
NOM
not rated yet Oct 02, 2008
Oops, looks like Neil Farbstein has had his spam post removed. LOL

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.