How a Desert-Dwelling Lizard Could Help Make Your Next Ford

Geckos are small lizards, comprised of many different species. Most live in desert habitats, and few grow larger than 2.5 ounces at maturity.

How can they help build a car?

The toe pads of a gecko have a magical adhesive property. We say magical because they can walk vertically up smooth glass, or even hang upside-down -- yet, unlike other animals with similar ability, their feet aren't gooey or wet. They leave behind no sticky residue when they detach.

For years this mystified scientists. It really did seem like magic.

It took scanning gecko feet with an electron scanning microscope to uncover the real reason behind their astounding properties. A gecko's foot is covered with about 500,000 microscopic hairs. These hairs are tiny enough to interact with a surface at the molecular level.

Ford Motor Company is currently in the process of researching ways to re-create this material and its strong-but-removable adhesive property for use in vehicle cabins. There are limitless possible applications, but the initial hope is to improve recycling.

Visit Jones Ford Buckeye to test drive a new Ford vehicle that may one day owe some of its parts to lizards found right in your backyard.

Categories: Green, News
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