Abstract

In the fabrication of directional gecko-inspired adhesives, a new capability made possible by the availability of metal molds is hot compression molding. This molding process allows the use of elastomers with much higher toughness than those cast at ambient temperature and pressure, as has been the common case in fabricating adhesives. In addition, it permits fast cycle times (minutes instead of hours), which is useful for volume manufacturing. We present the results of hot compression molding of elastomers in metal molds created with overhanging and tapered microscopic surface features, which give rise to anisotropic adhesion. We show that the adhesive performance so obtained is equivalent to that obtained earlier with PDMS.

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