Researchers Discover Use for Tannic Acid in Adhesives and Coatings

Researchers at Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana, USA) have devised a process for creating enhanced adhesives, coatings, and manufacturing process. This process involves the use of tannic acid, a naturally occurring polyphenolic compound found in medicines, as well as soft drinks and juices.

According to the university, the research team is using tannic acid to develop epoxy-based polymers with improved mechanical strength and adhesive abilities. These polymers can be used in a wide range of applications, including coatings, adhesives, structural composites, insulating materials, and electronics components.

Tannic acid has considerable advantages as a hardening agent that ensures stability and stiffness in high-temperature environments. “Our technology is designed to improve sustainability without sacrificing performance,” says Jeffrey Youngblood, a professor of materials engineering in Purdue’s College of Engineering. “It is more sustainable than other options, has less environmental impact and is relatively inexpensive.”

Youngblood and his team have worked on developing sustainable materials, which he admits “typically have lower performance.” However, the tannic acid technology opens additional avenues of research, such as using it as a flame retardant.

The research team, which is comprised of Youngblood, Purdue engineering professor John Howarter, and graduate research fellow Matthew Korey, are looking to patent its tannic acid technology with the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. In addition, the researchers are currently seeking additional research partners, as well as companies with an interest in licensing their technology.

Source: Purdue University,