Published on 22 Dec 2020

NTU scientists invent glue activated by magnetic field

Assoc Prof Steele, Prof Raju and Dr Richa showing samples of the glue.


A new way to cure adhesives using a magnetic field has been developed by NTU Singapore scientists, which is more energy-efficient and faster than conventional adhesives in the market.

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.

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, such as when it is sandwiched between insulating materials like rubber or wood.

It is made by combining a typical commercially available epoxy adhesive with specially tailored magnetic nanoparticles, which heats up and cures the glue when it is passed through a magnetic field, easily generated by a small electromagnetic device.

Thus, it needs only 120 times less energy than a large conventional oven needed to cure heat-activated epoxy.

Developed by Professor Raju V. Ramanujan, Associate Professor Terry Steele and Dr Richa Chaudhary from the NTU School of Materials Science and Engineering, the findings were published in the scientific journal Applied Materials Today and offer potential application in a wide range of fields.

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