Inspired by mussels
ordinary glue is difficult to stick to wet things, let alone underwater, but today we are going to enjoy a new research result-glue that can be used underwater.
(pink is dyed with fluorescent dyes. Video source: Amal Narayanan et al)
this adhesive is inspired by mussels and uses a specially designed artificial polymer. In the test, the researchers showed that the glue was used to bond sheets of glass underwater. After applying the glue, press the glass sheets together for 15 minutes, and then irradiate the ultraviolet light to promote the cross-linking reaction of the adhesive. Finally, the effect of this "underwater glue" is similar to that of mussel adhesive protein, and the bonding strength is about 100kPa.
in preparing this glue, the researchers first made the polymer into an aqueous solution. Above a critical temperature, the polymer can aggregate spontaneously and form many nano-droplets which are immiscible with water and heavier than water. Separate these droplets and you get the glue that we see in the video that doesn't spread out in the water.
in mussels, natural adhesion proteins aggregate each other through opposite charges, but different ideas are used here. The advantage of using Nonionic polymers is that the aggregated binders are not easily affected by factors such as water environment pH, salinity and so on.
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