BRAUNSCHWEIG, GERMANY - A fast-setting adhesive tape that could be used in place of hammer and nails to speed up the assembly of prefabricated houses has been developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut,

Adhesive Tape Developed for Prefab Home AssemblyThe adhesive tape sets in "less than one minute to reliably and durably bond together the individual components," according to Dr. Andreas Zillessen, a scientist at WKI. What's more Zillessen said the adhesive tape has major advantages of liquid adhesives that have been used for prefab home assembly, including much longer open times.

“The adhesive sets at the push of a button, so to speak," Zillessen said. "This means that when we apply the adhesive tape when assembling components, we can wait as long as we like without the adhesive drying out, as other kinds of adhesive would.”

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What distinguishes the new adhesive tape from the ordinary is the addition of a metal strip that is coated with the adhesive on both sides. When the tape is used to join two pieces of wood, an electrical current flows through the metal strip. This current heats the strip and melts the adhesive so that it can bind with the wood when it quickly cools.

“At present, the gluing and setting combined take around a minute, but over the long term we want to make these processes significantly shorter,” Zillessen said. The WKI is continuing to improve on its adhesive tape, including experimenting with various combinations of adhesives and metals. Brass has stood out in tests so far, but stainless steel and aluminum are also being tried.

“As the adhesive tape is designed to be used primarily for load-bearing bonding in buildings, it has to possess structural strength and durable adhesive qualities,” Zillessen said.  “We’ve already been able to demonstrate that the technology works in principle.”

Next on the docket are plans to work with German home-builder Schwörer to conduct practical applications of the tape.

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