Published on 06 Jan 2021

NTU scientists invent glue activated by magnetic field – Professor Raju V. Ramanujan and Associate Professor Terry Steele

We are delighted to share the research achievement of Professor Raju V. Ramanujan, Associate Professor Terry Steele and their team, which has been featured in various media.

Conventional adhesives like epoxy which are used to bond plastic, ceramics and wood are typically designed to cure using moisture, heat or light. They often require specific curing temperatures, ranging from room temperature up to 80 degrees Celsius. The curing process is necessary to cross-link and bond the glue with the two secured surfaces as the glue crystallises and hardens to achieve its final strength.

Scientists from School of MSE, NTU have developed a new way to cure adhesives using a magnetic field. NTU’s new “magnetocuring” glue can cure by passing it through a magnetic field. This is very useful in certain environmental conditions where current adhesives do not work well. Also, when the adhesive is sandwiched between insulating material like rubber or wood, traditional activators like heat, light and air cannot easily reach the adhesive. The new “magnetocuring” adhesive is made by combining a typical commercially available epoxy adhesive with specially tailored magnetic nanoparticles made by the NTU scientists. It does not need to be mixed with any hardener or accelerator, unlike two-component adhesives (which has two liquids that must be mixed before use), making it easy to manufacture and apply.

It bonds the materials when it is activated by passing through a magnetic field, which is easily generated by a small electromagnetic device. This uses less energy than a large conventional oven. The glue is developed by Professor Raju V. Ramanujan, Associate Professor Terry Steele and Dr Richa Chaudhary. Associate Professor Terry Steele, an expert in various types of advanced adhesives, explained: “Our key development is a way to cure adhesives within minutes of exposure to a magnetic field, while preventing overheating of the surfaces to which they are applied. This is important as some surfaces that we want to join are extremely heat-sensitive, such as flexible electronics and biodegradable plastics.”

From left: Associate Professor Terry Steele, Professor Raju V. Ramanujan and Dr Richa Chaudhary developed a ‘magnetocuring’ adhesive that is activated by magnetic field. Photo Credit: NTU

The breakthrough research was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Applied Materials Today, with the title “Magnetocuring of temperature failsafe epoxy adhesives”. The research article can be found via this link: .

Our heartiest congratulations to Prof Ramanujan, Prof Steele, and their team on the excellent achievement!

Media Coverage:
BioEngineer (UK), 22 Dec
Bright Surf (UK)
Phys Org (US), 22 Dec
Science Codex (US),
Nanowerk (US),
Mirage News (AU)
Yahoo Taiwan, 27 Dec
Youtube video
News Release, 31 Dec