As far as we know, it was 200 millenniums ago (give or take a few years) that a human for the first time used a simple natural adhesive to hold something in place – with the sticky substance extracted from a tree. Only 5 000 years ago the first adhesive materials from other natural sources were derived, mostly animal tissue including bones or skins.
The relatively recent leap in adhesive technology is related to the development of polymeric materials, with the products most obvious to consumers still being pressure-sensitive adhesives in the form of duct tapes.
Adhesives are used for food and supplies packaging, labeling, wound-care dressing, surface protection, piping, sealing, or furniture making. They are also used in the aerospace, electronics, or automobile industry with typical examples including fuselage parts, wing structures, engine housings, windshields, car panels, and so on.
Natural and synthetic adhesive materials today are a multi-billion dollar industry with a wide variety of formulations. For refining and newly developing adhesives their synthesis and characterization are essential steps, and the latest advances in adhesion science, engineering, and technology are the focus of the first of two special issues of Macromolecular Reaction Engineering.
Entitled “Recent Advances in Synthesis and Characterization of Adhesives” and guest-edited by Hadi Izadi and Alexander Penlidis (University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), the special issue presents work by the internationally leading experts in the field, covering synthetic methods and their influence on the final properties of the adhesive as well as cutting-edge developments in characterization methods for the components and the adhesive-adherend interface.
The second special issue, supervised by the same guest editors, is dedicated to “Science and Technology of Bio-Inspired Adhesives“. Here, transferring ideas from nature to technology allows to fabricate novel materials by employing biological principals and biomimetic replicas. Typical examples include fibrillar adhesion systems applied by animals and insects for their locomotion, or dry adhesives for medical applications with strong adhesion but easy peel-off.
Read here for free the full introductory Essays by Hadi Izadi and Alexander Penlidis: