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Ford Turns to Geckos for Adhesive Inspriation

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Gecko pads Ford biomimicry

To discover new solutions for adhesives in its products, Ford is turning to the gecko. No, not the mascot for Geico. Like actual geckos.

Ford’s researchers, in tandem with researchers from Procter & Gamble, will look to the gecko’s natural adhesive abilities for inspiration with regards to fixing foams to plastics and metals. Should this process prove fruitful, it would not only result in a product of greater quality, but also one that is more easily recyclable at the end of its life cycle.

“Solving this problem could provide cost savings and certainly an environmental savings,” said Debbie Mielewski, Ford senior technical leader for plastics and sustainability research. “It means we could increase the recycling of more foam and plastics, and further reduce our environmental footprint.”

Ford recently hosted a day-long forum on the concept at its Dearborn campus, which was attended by reps from both Procter & Gamble and The Biomimicry Institute.

“We are excited for the opportunity to participate, together with Ford—with whom we have a history of collaboration—in The Biomimicry Institute workshop,” said Lee Ellen Drechsler, director for corporate connect and development, The Procter and Gamble Company. “We have an interest within Procter & Gamble for using biomimicry as a way to broaden our approach to solving tough research challenges.”

Should Ford prove successful, we might suggest researching chameleons next so that we can finally live our dream of color-changing cars.