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: MIT team's wireless Vital-Radio could follow breathing, heart rate at home

Related Stories

A Cyborg Space Race

Apr 06, 2010

Who should explore space: robots or humans? Our ability to travel beyond Earth is hampered by the harsh conditions of space, but rather than let robots have all the fun, could cyborg technology allow humans ...

Recommended for you

Making LED-illuminated advertisements light and flexible

13 hours ago

VTT is involved in a European project, developing novel LED advertising displays, which combine thin, lightweight and bendable structures with advanced optical quality. The project will implement, for example, a LED display ...

Detecting human life with remote technology

15 hours ago

Flinders engineering students Laith Al-Shimaysawee and Ali Al-Dabbagh have developed ground-breaking new technology for detecting human life using remote cameras.

Team develops faster, higher quality 3-D camera

Apr 24, 2015

When Microsoft released the Kinect for Xbox in November 2010, it transformed the video game industry. The most inexpensive 3-D camera to date, the Kinect bypassed the need for joysticks and controllers by ...

Researchers finding applications for tough spinel ceramic

Apr 24, 2015

Imagine a glass window that's tough like armor, a camera lens that doesn't get scratched in a sand storm, or a smart phone that doesn't break when dropped. Except it's not glass, it's a special ceramic called ...

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.