Active, Tailorable, Reversible Adhesives for Structural Multimaterial Joining and Facile Repair, and Re-Assembly


Executive Summary


Lightweight material joining is of special interest in automotive, aerospace, defense and marine industries. The structural joining of similar and dissimilar materials utilizing conventional fastening techniques require drilling holes, increasing weight and inviting stress concentrations. Adhesive joints have gained popularity due to their cost efficiency, light-weight designs, decreased stress concentrations, and their ability to join dissimilar materials. They provide a large contact area and thereby exhibit efficient stress distribution. However, these bonded joints commonly use thermoset adhesives, which are cured once and cannot be dis-assembled, repaired or re-assembled. MSU researchers present an innovative joining technique with the merits of bonded joints, along with the ability to dis-assemble, repair and re-assemble.


Description of Technology


The new invention is focusing on the adhesive material irrespective of the type of substrate. The substrate can be any metal (aluminum, steel, magnesium, etc.), composite material or hybrid (multi-materials), etc. The adhesive is composed of a thermoplastic material with embedded nano-scale or micro-scale particles. Adherends in the vicinity of the adhesive will still heat up, however the heat will not degrade them, as they are exposed to a maximum heat for only a very short period of time. 


Key Benefits

  • Cost-effective
  • Rapid, ‘targeted heating’ of adhesives
  • Joints can be ‘refreshed’ without dis-assembly
  • Successful use with multiple types of substrates, including metals, composites or hybrids, etc.
  • Enables in-situ repair, dis-assembly, re-assembly, and recyclability of parts at the end of their lifetime
  • Adhesive materials can be of any thermoplastic material, which can be modified so that it can be remotely activated for targeted heating of just the adhesiveNano-/micro- particles lead to uniform heating of the adhesive throughout the bond area, which is critical in large bond areas/surfaces



  • Potential for direct industrial acceptance with minimal to negligible change in current industrial practices
  • Automotive, aerospace, defense, and marine industries


Patent Status: 


Patent application published no. 20160284449


Licensing Rights Available


Full licensing rights available


Inventors: Mahmoodul Haq, Ermias Koricho, Lawrence Drzal


Tech ID: TEC2015-0089


Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Brian Copple
Technology Manager
Michigan State University