Integrating electrostatic adhesion to composite structures

Callum Heath, Ian Bond, Kevin Potter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

5 Citations (Scopus)
476 Downloads (Pure)


Additional functionality within load bearing components holds potential for adding value to a structure, design or product. We consider the adaptation of an established technology, electrostatic adhesion or electroadhesion, for application in glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) composite materials. Electroadhesion uses high potential difference (~2-3 kV) between co-planar electrodes to generate temporary holding forces to both electrically conductive and nonconductive contact surfaces. Using a combination of established fabrication techniques, electroadhesive elements are co-cured within a composite host structure during manufacture. This provides an almost symbiotic relationship between the electroadhesive and the composite structure, with the electroadhesive providing an additional functionality, whilst the epoxy matrix material of the composite acts as a dielectric for the high voltage electrodes of the device. Silicone rubber coated devices have been shown to offer high shear load (85kPa) capability for GFRP components held together using this technique. Through careful control of the connection interface, we consider the incorporation of these devices within complete composite structures for additional functionality. The ability to vary the internal connectivity of structural elements could allow for incremental changes in connectivity between discrete sub-structures, potentially introducing variable stiffness to the global structure. © (2015) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIndustrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2015
PublisherSociety of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
ISBN (Print)9781628415360
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X

Bibliographical note

Date of Acceptance: 03/11/2014


  • Multi - functionality
  • Composite
  • Electroadhesion


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