Purdue Researches Acid for Stronger Adhesives


Researchers at Purdue University have recently turned their attention to tannic acid—an ingredient commonly found in medicine and beverages—to improve the strength of some adhesives.

Researchers have concluded that the acid can improve adhesives, along with coatings and manufacturing composites, and are using their discovery for epoxy-based polymers.

“There are few high-temperature hardeners that are sustainable,” said Jeffrey Youngblood, a professor of materials engineering in Purdue’s College of Engineering, who is on the research team along with John Howarter, an associate professor of engineering, and Matthew Korey, a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow.

“Our technology is designed to improve sustainability without sacrificing performance.”

Typically, a hardening agent is added to epoxy polymers to aid in stability and stiffness for high-temperature environments. Here, the tannic acid is the hardener.

“It is more sustainable than other options, has less environmental impact and is relatively inexpensive,” Youngblood said.

“My research group is heavily involved in developing sustainable materials. Sustainable materials typically have lower performance, which compromises the public perception and penetration into the market. Here, such a trade-off is not necessary.”

The work aligns with Purdue's Giant Leaps celebration of the university’s global advancements made in sustainability as part of Purdue’s 150th anniversary. It is one of the four themes of the yearlong celebration’s Ideas Festival, designed to “showcase Purdue as an intellectual center solving real-world issues.”

Researchers are currently working with the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization to patent the technology, and are looking for partners interested in licensing.


Tagged categories: Adhesive; Coating Materials; Coatings Research Group; Coatings Technology; Coatings Technology; NA; North America; Research; Research and development

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