Switchable adhesion of soft composites induced by a magnetic field†
Switchable adhesives have the potential to improve the manufacturing and recycling of parts, and to enable new modes of motility for soft robots. Here, we demonstrate magnetically-switchable adhesion of a two-phase composite to non-magnetic objects. The composite's continuous phase is a silicone elastomer, and the dispersed phase is a magneto-rheological fluid. The composite is simple to prepare, and to mold into different shapes. When a magnetic field is applied, the magneto-rheological fluid develops a yield stress, which dramatically enhances the composite's adhesive properties. We demonstrate up to a nine-fold increase of the pull-off force of non-magnetic objects in the presence of a 250 mT field.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Liquid Composites