This year, “Smart” seems to be a marketing buzzword, with the invention of Smart technology making our lives easier, featuring the growth of Smart Televisions, Smart Watches and more.
But, what does “smart” really mean? And, can we see this trend within the Adhesive industry?
What is a “Smart Material”?
“Smart materials are defined as materials that sense and react to environmental conditions or stimuli.”
In other words, Smart Materials can adapt to our surroundings and their specific properties can be altered by external factors. They are starting to play a significant role in our future, with many already being used in daily life today. Some examples include the lenses in light-adaptive sunglasses, or solar-powered garden lights.
The Innovation of Smart Adhesives
Thermal management and vibration control are among the specific properties that a selection of adhesives withhold, but the development of smart adhesives is taking these one step further.
Adhesives with thermal management have the ability to withstand extreme temperatures, reducing the risk of the bond and structure weakening.
Advancing this, future research will be focusing on this characteristic and how to develop it so you can be able to sense or observe the temperature by using an absolute or differential reading.
Adhesives with vibration control and damping properties have the ability to absorb sound and vibrations, so the movement and friction does not interfere with the adhesive structure and bond. After looking at some applications, there is potential for smart adhesives to monitor this vibrational energy, smooth and spread it out, and convert it for other uses.
This research is just the beginning as other properties, like electrical conduction and insulation, can be enhanced in the same way and evolve alongside smart technology.
Expectations for 2019 and Beyond
These developments in smart materials and adhesives will continually grow throughout the future and many different industries. There is strong potential that we will start to see adhesive solutions that can observe, examine and communicate, leading to more efficient and smarter bonding components.
Would you like to know more about smart adhesives, or do you have a project planned that could benefit from them? Why not speak to BDK, either via our contact page or calling us on 01473 659059, for some expert advice and the comprehensive knowledge of our team.