"Barry Rosenbaum points to a collage of photos outside the lab of Akron Ascent Innovations. No pushpins or tape in sight, the pictures cling to the wall — a la a gecko or Spiderman — suspended by the startup's unique adhesive backing."
Akron Ascent is prominently featured in a new article by Simon Montlake on the revitalization of the rust belt through technology innovation. "Inside a clear plastic box the size of a rabbit hutch, a 12-inch drum turns slowly on its axis. At each turn the drum is coated with polymer threads, 100 times as thin as a human hair, fired from a needle-and-syringe electrospinner, just as Spider-Man shoots his webs. It takes 20 minutes to produce an adhesive film...
In a vestige of Akron's industrial rubber past, more than 40 small start-ups are dreaming big new ideas.
The Akron Global Business Accelerator, in the old B.F. Goodrich building on South Main Street, is a glossy, industrial-chic space populated with businesses that range from a single employee to graduates selling products or services around the globe…
"Imagine hanging a sheet of paper, a picture or a dry erase board on a wall without tape or any sticky substance and then taking that paper down and putting it up on another wall without any residue or stickiness.
That is the function of a “dry adhesive,” and Akron Ascent Innovations, located in the Akron Global Business Accelerator, has developed a dry adhesive product that is so versatile that the company cannot keep up with potential applications, said Chief Operating Officer Kevin White.
“We are looking at consumer applications” rather than large commercial ones, said White. In developing products that adhere “home organization onto delicate surfaces,” White said that he literally had to tell people to stop creating new applications until the ones in development make it to market.
That hasn’t stopped the development team from looking at everything from spray-on human skin to 3-D printing and experimenting with weather-resistant outdoor applications like signs..."
It doesn’t smell. It isn’t messy. It doesn’t leave marks on the wall. It works when it gets wet. It is a new kind of adhesive, spun from polymer fibers, that is dry and reusable on surfaces, including glass, wood, metal and paper. And now, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has recognized its potential with new funding to scale up production for market.