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suction cup tape

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suction cup tape

Postby admin » Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:45 pm

http://www.electro.nyc/hardware/2014/10 ... n-cup-tape

What if, instead of adhesive tape, you had a strip of tape that worked like a suction cup? Adhesive on one side, and a smooth to the touch surface on the other that suctions to any smooth surface just like a suction cup. Meet 'suction cup tape'!

From time to time I like to collect 'inspirational materials.' These exotic articles help me get outside the box with novel solutions to problems and can even stimulate whole new product concepts. I'll be collecting some of the most interesting, trying, reviewing and posting them here. So check back for more!

Unlike the famous Gecko tape in labs at MIT, you can find suction cup tape on inventables. They have a lot of great one of a kind materials for engineers and designers. A while back, I ordered myself some samples and got down to playing. Suction cup tape comes in sheets or rolls at different thicknesses. You can even get it in black or white. I started with the 0.50 mm white.

How it works
Adhesives work a number of different ways. Some sort of chemically melt surfaces they bind to. This is why they're generally permanent. They also offgas, releasing particles into the air. This is why you'll see cyanoacrylate (krazy glue) creating little white dust around they interface. Obviously, this isn't great in places where you want reusable adhesion, and can't afford to damage the mounting surface

Synthetic setae, or gecko tape, does this crazy thing where it uses van der Waals force to cling to surfaces. The microstructures of their feet are so small and numerous that they actually create nano-scale atomic forces on the electrons of the materials they stick to. Needless to say, they are quite expensive to produce at the moment. This MIT labs technology may someday provide a pretty cool material option. Today, however, this isn't quite ready for primetime.

Unlike adhesives or gecko tape, suction cup tape uses micro scale pores to act as tiny passive suction cups.

Pros
Transient
Thin
Smooth to the touch
Easy to shape
Inexpensive
Reusable

Cons

Not exactly waterproof
Loses some strength over time
Costlier than a suction cup feature
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