PerspectiveMaterials Science

Tack--a Sticky Subject

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  20 Aug 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5431, pp. 1219-1220
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5431.1219

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

Adhesion of one material to another--or "tack"--is crucial for many products, from adhesive tape to post-it notes and cosmetics. A wide range of adhesive materials is used, but achieving control over the conditions under which a material is sticky remains difficult. de Crevoisier et al. (page 1246) achieve control over the surface and bulk of the substrate to which adhesion is desired, by utilizing a melting phase transition of their substrate at 35 degrees Celsius, just below body temperature. Tack is maximized in a narrow temperature range near the phase transition, with possible applications in grips for sports rackets and golf clubs. Discussion of the mechanisms affecting tack--wetting, surface roughness, and substrate viscoelasticity--illustrates the delicate balance between factors reducing and enhancing tack in this system.