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Controllable load sharing for soft adhesive interfaces on three-dimensional surfaces

2017

Article

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For adhering to three-dimensional (3D) surfaces or objects, current adhesion systems are limited by a fundamental trade-off between 3D surface conformability and high adhesion strength. This limitation arises from the need for a soft, mechanically compliant interface, which enables conformability to nonflat and irregularly shaped surfaces but significantly reduces the interfacial fracture strength. In this work, we overcome this trade-off with an adhesion-based soft-gripping system that exhibits enhanced fracture strength without sacrificing conformability to nonplanar 3D surfaces. Composed of a gecko-inspired elastomeric microfibrillar adhesive membrane supported by a pressure-controlled deformable gripper body, the proposed soft-gripping system controls the bonding strength by changing its internal pressure and exploiting the mechanics of interfacial equal load sharing. The soft adhesion system can use up to ∼26% of the maximum adhesion of the fibrillar membrane, which is 14× higher than the adhering membrane without load sharing. Our proposed load-sharing method suggests a paradigm for soft adhesion-based gripping and transfer-printing systems that achieves area scaling similar to that of a natural gecko footpad.

Author(s): Song, Sukho and Drotlef, Dirk-Michael and Majidi, Carmel and Sitti, Metin
Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Volume: 114
Number (issue): 22
Pages: E4344–E4353
Year: 2017
Month: May
Day: 15
Publisher: National Acad Sciences

Department(s): Physical Intelligence
Research Project(s): Soft robotic grippers using gecko adhesives
Bibtex Type: Article (article)

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1620344114

BibTex

@article{song2017controllable,
  title = {Controllable load sharing for soft adhesive interfaces on three-dimensional surfaces},
  author = {Song, Sukho and Drotlef, Dirk-Michael and Majidi, Carmel and Sitti, Metin},
  journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences},
  volume = {114},
  number = {22},
  pages = {E4344–E4353},
  publisher = {National Acad Sciences},
  month = may,
  year = {2017},
  month_numeric = {5}
}