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: Laser weapon system stops truck in field test

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Size matters: Phones as big as they can get for easy use

16 minutes ago

There was a time you could count on phones getting larger each year. Samsung's runaway success with the big-screen smartphone even spurred Apple to release a supersized model last fall. But if phones get ...

Pleurobot is salamander-like robot with lifelike motion

26 minutes ago

A video showing "multimodal locomotion in a bioinspired robot" has been making the rounds, and the video demonstrates advances in robotics as scientific tools as well as potential robots for search and rescue ...

Recommended for you

Laser weapon system stops truck in field test

22 hours ago

Lockheed Martin's 30-kilowatt fiber laser weapon system successfully disabled the engine of a small truck during a recent field test, demonstrating the rapidly evolving precision capability to protect military ...

Applications of networked micro-drones

Mar 04, 2015

Micro-drones are already being put to use in a large number of areas: These small aircraft face extensive requirements when performing aerial observation tasks or when deployed in the field of disaster management. A newly ...

Large-surface light-emitting plastic film

Mar 03, 2015

Based on OLED technology and implemented by means of a printing machine, this method developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd provides an opportunity to create patterned and flexible light-emitting ...

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.