Bio-based adhesive systems for floor coverings using biological principles from nature

RESEARCH PROJECT »KleBoSpin«

Bodenbelag wird mit Klebstoff aufgeklebt.
© urfinguss/iStock.com
Floor covering is glued on with adhesive.
Funding logo of BMBF

Floor adhesives in practice

Industrial adhesives are used in a variety of different situations, and are therefore subject to a very broad requirement profile, ranging from extremely high bonding strength to being easy to detach. Adhesives that combine both of these properties are very difficult to develop. As a result, development focuses primarily on ensuring bonding strength, making it difficult to detach and remove bonded components. This is the case for floor coverings such as PVC, for example, which are often very difficult to remove properly.

At the same time, most adhesives nowadays are made from petroleum-based polymers,which release highly volatile, strong-smelling substances that can be hazardous to human health. This means that a large number of cost-intensive measures need to be put in place throughout the value chain, from extraction to disposal, in order to protect people and the environment. Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of sustainability, recyclability and health and environment protections, and this is now a massive driving force behind the development of alternative bio-based adhesives.

The KleBoSpin project is developing adhesive systems for elastic floor coverings (such as PVC) that provide a bonding strength high enough to meet the requirements placed on them. The added value of the bio-based floor adhesives is that the floor coverings can easily be detached and removed.

Bio-based floor adhesives that follow nature's example

It often helps to look to nature for ways to reassess existing problems and find new solutions. With the KleBoSpin project, Fraunhofer IVV is looking to take the principle used by spiders to catch prey and transfer it to adhesive systems for floor coverings. The development work is aimed at creating an adhesive system that provides adequate bonding strength while being easier to detach when removing floor coverings.

Unlike conventional adhesives, the product will also be free from formaldehyde and any substances that are harmful to human health, meaning that no cumbersome or cost-intensive occupational health and safety measures are required during manufacturing, use and disposal.

Product development for subsequent industrial use

Above all, the improvements in detachability provide a significant benefit to end consumers when removing a floor covering. They allow consumers to save both costs and time. During development, industrial methods are used to evaluate the innovative adhesive system to meet practical requirements.