Adjustable Angle Peel Tester for Gecko-Inspired Micro-Pattern Surfaces

Hossfeld, Craig
Several animals, such as geckos and spiders, have the ability to climb walls and ceilings with the same ease as walking on flat ground. Recent investigations into this unique ability convincingly demonstrated that this behavior is due to the hierarchical fibrillar structures on their feet. This discovery inspired the creation of novel synthetic micro-patterned adhesive surfaces. Unfortunately testing of these adhesive surfaces is not standardized and each laboratory uses different techniques. This variety in testing makes data comparison extremely difficult. The goal of this research was to fabricate a peel testing device, specific to micro-patterned adhesive samples, that retrofits to load frames commonly found in material labs. The peel tester design is based on the methods developed to peel test traditional adhesive tape such as scotch tape. The resulting testing apparatus can peel test specimens at a range of angles varying from -90 to 90 degrees, and has a dynamic base to maintain a constant peel off angle, critical to interpretation of the results. Following fabrication, well documented tape specimens were tested to assure the peel tester operated as designed. The results from micro-patterned adhesive tests conducted with this peel tester will serve as the foundation for my M.S. Thesis.
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