The share of bio-based adhesives on the market is growing. The German adhesives industry is driving this development and working on new formulas based on renewable raw materials. In doing so, nature is being used as a model. Already Leonardo da Vinci based his flying machines on the movements of birds. Today, numerous products are based on biomimetics. Well-known examples include Velcro, which researchers copied from the burrs of the brudock plant, or echolocation from bats, which is used in parking assistant systems.
Adhesives manufacturers are taking things a step further: they are not only adopting mechanical processes from nature but chemical ones as well. The aim is to establish bio-based adhesives as an equivalent replacement for mineral oil-based adhesive solutions.
Already today, 15 percent of the adhesives used are made from renewable raw materials.
This figure will continue to rise in the years ahead.
One of the challenges lies in the technical implementation. Natural materials have much more complex chemical structures than mineral oil. That is why IVK member companies are conducting intensive research in this field. The development will increasingly result in a production process based in natural materials rather than on petrochemical raw materials.
The medical field has been using bio-based adhesives successfully for years. For example, doctors use a mussel-based adhesive as an effective method to close small tears in the amniotic sac. Advantage: the adhesive contains certain proteins which are particularly well-tolerated by the body. It also works within the space of 10 to 20 seconds and can be applied very precisely.