Experts from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) at Singapore have developed a new method to cure glue with the help of a magnetic field. The new glue is supposed to save time, space, and energy said the experts. They have said that typical adhesives or glue such as epoxy, which is utilized to join plastics, ceramics, and woods, are usually made to cure using moisture, heat, or light. These adhesives need a particular curing temperature varying from room temperature to 80 degrees Celsius. The curing process is important for cross-link and binding the glue with the two safe facades as the glue crystallizes and hardens enough to get the final strength. Experts have said that NTU’s new ‘magnetocuring’ glue can cure much faster by passing it through a magnetic field. As per the experts, this is very helpful in certain atmospheric conditions where typical adhesives do not work well. It is quite beneficial when adhesives are squashed in between insulating substances such as rubber or wood. In such a condition, traditional light, heat, and air do not reach adhesives properly.
Experts have said that products such as composite bike frames, helmets, and golf clubs are being designed with two-part epoxy adhesives. They have said that a resin and a hardener are blended in it, which immediately initiates the reaction. As per the report, carbon fibers are made with thin ribbons of carbon joined together layer by layer. The makers of sports equipment often use these carbon fibers. Their factories use massive and high-temperature ovens to cure the epoxy glue and spend many hours in this process. Due to the energy-intensive curing process, carbon fiber has a high cost in the market. The new way of curing has been made by joining traditional easily available epoxy adhesives with the modified magnetic nanoparticles, which have been created by scientists from NTU. Experts have said that contrary to two-component adhesives, it does not need to be blended with any hardener or accelerator. It makes it easy to manufacture and apply. As per the report, the new method bonds the surfaces, when it is triggered by passing through a magnetic field. This magnetic field can be produced using a tiny electromagnetic device. The whole process saves a huge amount of energy and it does not need traditional high-power ovens.
Experts have said that a 200-Watt electromagnetic device is able to cure around one gram of magnetocuring adhesive. It uses 120 times less power as compared to a 200-Watt oven, which consumed around one hour to cure usual epoxy. They have said that the new method can be used in a wide range of fields such as automotive products, high-end sports equipment, electronics, energy, aerospace, and pharmaceutical companies. Lab tests have confirmed that the new adhesive contains a strength of up to 7 megapascals. The new adhesive has been designed with two main elements. The first element is commercially available epoxy, which is cured through heat and oxide nanoparticles made from a chemical blend, which contains manganese, zinc, and iron. Experts have said that these nanoparticles heat up when electromagnetic energy is passed through them and it right away activates the curing process. The findings of the study have been released in the scientific journal called Applied Materials Today.