Polartec Military

Gecko Tape

“Get in on this.” If I could only say one thing about this material that would be it. The so-called gecko tape is amazing. Made from hard microfibers, and act similar to the hairs on tips of a Gecko’s toes called satae. In fact, they act on weak forces of attraction called van der Waals forces. While the electric charges are minuscule when joined in the millions the two items stay attached, even when wet.

I saw some gloves with the fingers and palm covered in this material at the 2008 SHOT Show. The manufacturer had placed corresponding tape on a knife handle and a pistol grip. When I picked the items up they stayed fast yet I could handle items without tape normally. He wouldn’t tell me what it was and I didn’t figure out until I started researching this article but in my limited interaction, it works.

Much of the work is pie-in-the-sky work hoping to create a real-life Spider Man. But I see more practical things on the horizon. While still in the developmental stage, this technology may one day lead to such items as the pouchless magazine pouch or those gloves I tried out.

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