The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST for mercifully short) has announced the development of a new material that can be used as an adhesive product.
Created from a petroleum-based liquid crystal, this miracle goo can actually change from solid to liquid and vice versa not with changes in heat but with exposure to simple lights.
AIST claims that, all in constant room temperature, this substance liquefies when hit with ultraviolet light, and then solidifies when exposed to the visible spectrum. This change can be done as many times as possible without any degradation.
Let’s say you’re always forgetting your keys and you want to glue them to yourself. All you have to do is cover a spot on your arm with this yellowy substance in its solid/powdered form and cover one side of the key. Then climb into your tanning bed for a dose of UV.
After a short time the yellow powder will become a gooey substance. Once you climb out of the tanning bed, the natural light will cause the glue to solidify again. About five minutes later, presto, the key is now firmly stuck to your arm.
This process can be done over and over again, all you have to do is carry around a tanning bed wherever you go and run a high risk of melanoma.
Like the above example illustrates, this product might not be suitable for home use outside of a novelty item. However, it could prove to be a revolutionary substance for use in industry.
“In places like factories adhesives are often used that require substantial heating. Using this substance eliminates the need for these high temperatures, saving energy and money. Therefore I believe this adhesive will become suitable in mass production.” (AIST)
At the moment one square centimeter is capable of holding 5 kilograms, but developers may be able to improve the strength. At the moment that should be plenty of strength to meet the packing needs of many common products. It reusability is also very intriguing. Imagine completely recyclable glue.
This product appears to be in its infancy and likely won’t be seen by the public for quite some time. But it conjures up images of a Star Trek future where our primitive steel can openers are replaced with opener beams. Mr. Sulu, set your phaser to seal.
Video demonstration shows the change from powder to liquid back to solid in high speed.