The researchers at Purdue University in the US have discovered a method for using tannic acid to help create improved adhesives, coatings and manufacturing composites.
They are using the discovery for epoxy-based polymers — which are considered among the most versatile and useful adhesive agents because of their excellent mechanical strength and strong sticking power.
“There are few high-temperature hardeners that are sustainable,” said Jeffrey Youngblood, a professor at Purdue’s College of Engineering. “Our technology is designed to improve sustainability without sacrificing performance,” Youngblood said.
Epoxy polymers are used in a wide range of applications including coatings, adhesives, structural composites, insulating materials and components of electronics.
A hardening agent is added to the polymer to ensure stability and stiffness in high-temperature environments. “We are using tannic acid as the hardener. It is more sustainable than other options, has less environmental impact and is relatively inexpensive,” Youngblood said.