Skip to main content

Asymptotic modelling of bioinspired fibrillar adhesives

Speaker: Dr Ivan Argatov, Department of Materials Science and Applied Mathematics, Malmö University, Sweden


In recent years, a significant amount of research attention has been paid to adhesion of biological systems. For the so-called dry adhesive biological systems, like those of gecko lizards, the explanation of the adhesion mechanism was given in the framework of the classical JKR (Johnson–Kendall–Roberts) theory, originally derived for single spherical contacts. These recent biological studies have inspired the future development of fibrillar and patterned surfaces of polymeric materials, which possess superior adhesive properties compared to the adhesion characteristics of the same materials with the smooth adhering surfaces, which are fabricated without any patterns or fibrils. One of the most interesting aspects of the adhesion mechanism of fibrillar adhesives is formulated as the principle of contact splitting, which states that the adhesion force for a given apparent contact area increases as the total contact is split up into ever-finer contact elements. This theoretical result, which follows from the dimensional reasons inherent in the JKR analysis, was obtained under the simplifying assumption of non-interacting micro-contacts. However, the majority of analytical models developed up to date inherently assume that neighbouring pillars deform independently, thereby still utilizing the non-interaction approximation. In the present research, the problem of multiple adhesive contact for a system of interacting micro-contacts is re-examined using the multi-scale asymptotic modelling approach.

A small lunch will be served at 12:30 in the same room prior to the seminar.

All are welcome