Photo by Metaklett
It’s hard to imagine a time before velcro. Invented over six decades ago, Swiss engineer George de Mestral’s ingenious hook-and-loop fastener provided a way to adhere two surfaces without adhesives—and reposition them indefinitely. The technology is now widely used in applications such as shoes, bags, coats, and bandage closures.
Researchers at the Technical University of Munich decided it was time to make even more of a good thing. Imagining wider applications for this technology, they invented metal velcro. Called Metaklett, this new fastening system also allows for easy repositioning; unlike velcro, however, it exhibits good tolerance against significant physical stresses, high temperatures, and strong chemicals. Suitable for use in automobile manufacturing or mechanical engineering applications, Metaklett can endure loads up to 35 N/m2.
Perhaps one day luggage could utilize this technology instead of those zipper pulls that always break off.