Gecko Inspired Suit Could Have you Climbing the Wall
Theoretical van der Walls gloves could generate an adhesion force comparable to the body weight of ∼500 men. Even if such a strength remains practically unrealistic (and undesired, in order to achieve an easy detachment), due to the presence of contact defects, e.g. roughness and dust particles, its huge value suggests the feasibility of Spiderman gloves. The scaling-up procedure, from a spider to a man, is expected to decrease the safety factor (body weight over adhesion force) and adhesion strength, that however could remain sufficient for supporting a man. Scientists are developing fascinating new biomimetic materials, e.g. gecko-inspired. Here we complementary face the problem of the structure rather than of the material, designing and fabricating a first prototype of Spiderman gloves, capable of supporting ∼10 kilograms each, thanks to new Adhesive Optimization Laws.
Pietro VINCENZINI and Salvatore GRAZIANI
N. M. Pugno "Gecko Inspired Suit Could Have you Climbing the Wall", Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 58, pp. 66-71, 2008