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Chemist wins award for new approach to pressure-sensitive adhesive production


   

Timothy E. Long Timothy E. Long

BLACKSBURG, Va., June 28, 2011 – Timothy E. Long, professor of chemistry, associate dean of the College of Science, and a member of the Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute at Virginia Tech, has been presented with the Pressure Sensitive Tape Council (PSTC) 2011 Carl Dahlquist Award for his research relating to adhesive tape technology.

Carl Dahlquist pioneered many of the fundamental design principles for pressure sensitive adhesives during his time at 3M Company.

His research presents a solvent-free and environmentally friendly approach of producing pressure sensitive adhesives (PSAs). These adhesives are used for various types of pressure sensitive tapes, such as masking tape and electrical tape. They are also used for medical bandages and transdermal patches, among many other applications. 

New families of polyesters containing charged sites, designed by Long's group, permit modification of adhesive properties on both the molecular and morphological level, he said. "The introduction of ionic groups provides an avenue to tune mechanical and adhesive properties on the molecular level of these copolyesters as potential temperature-sensitive adhesives." Long explained that many PSAs are designed using petroleum-based acrylic monomers, "however, polyesters are easily derived from renewable resources, and processes to manufacture them avoid the use of volatile organic solvents. It is this combination of adherence to the principles of green chemistry and novel PSA structures that have attracted much commercial attention in recent years."

Long presented "Polyesters for Sustainable Adhesive Technologies: From PSAs to Thermoplastic Elastomers" at the PSTC TECH 34 technical seminar in May in Orlando, Fla. His paper was one of 25 during the three-day technical seminar, which was part of PSTC's highly attended Week of Learning where the entire PSA tape industry channel was represented from adhesive manufacturers and suppliers to tape manufacturers, tape converters, associations, and industry experts.

Long's winning paper is published online at PSTC's website and in the PSTC TECH 34 proceedings book.

He received his bachelor's degree from St. Bonaventure University and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.

PSTC presents the Dahlquist Award to one speaker during its annual Week of Learning technical conference who, following the evaluation of a panel of judges, demonstrates the very best in research relating to adhesive tape technology. The selection covers a range of criteria, concentrating on originality and scientific contribution, but also includes presentation and quality of visuals.

The award is named for innovator Dahlquist who developed the Dahlquist criterion of tack, determining the modulus value of a material necessary for it to be low enough and tacky enough to be considered a pressure sensitive adhesive. For more information, contact PSTC

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