Testing and Analysis of the Peeling of Medical Adhesives From Human Skin


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Virginia Tech


The analysis of peeling tape or a bandage from skin is a challenging problem. Skin is a very complex material made of many layers with anisotropic material properties. Adhesives that bond tapes or patches to skin must attach to skin through moisture and skin movement, but then be removed with little skin trauma. A computer model of peeling from skin apparently has not been developed previously. With experiments and the application of mechanics, research was conducted to analyze adhesion to skin.

Numerous peeling experiments were performed on human subject arms using 2.54-cm-wide pressure sensitive tape Durapore™ by 3M. Various rates, angles, and dwell times were tested. Testing machines recorded peel force and the displacement of the end of the tape. A range of maximum and average peeling force values were noted for human subjects, along with the influence of angle, rate, order of testing, dwell time, and subject. Also, rigid substrates were tested for comparison with human skin.

Computer models were also developed to simulate peeling and skin behavior. Initial models dealt with peeling from a rigid surface, and intermediate models concerned plucking skin. The final model involved peeling a piece of tape from skin, the overall goal of this research. The skin and tape were modeled as they behave during peeling. With the final model, the peel angle, debonding moment, normal force on the skin, and net shear force tangential to the skin were analyzed. Results from the experiments and computer models of this research will increase knowledge of skin behavior and could contribute to improvements in the design of adhesives that contact the skin.



Peel, Pressure Sensitive Adhesives, Adhesion, Skin