[Worldkings] Top 50 inventions and discoveries made by accident (P. 27) George De Mestral created velcro after accidentally discovering small burrs grabbing onto fibers upon contact

02-08-2023

(Worldkings.org) The idea for Velcro came to de Mestral in 1941, when he was inspired by the way burrs stuck to his dog's fur during a hunting trip.

George de Mestral (19 June 1907 – 8 February 1990) was a Swiss electrical engineer who invented the hook and loop fastener which he named Velcro.

 

In 1941, Georges de Mestral went for a walk with his dog into the woods and accidentally saw something that would be the basic design of his historic brainchild, Velcro. After his walk, de Mestral realized that some burdock burrs clung to his trousers and his dog as well. It occurred to him that he could probably turn the common spectacle into a more useful design.

 

So, the engineer put a burr under a microscope and took a closer look at it. He discovered that burrs are covered in many tiny hooks, which allow them to grab onto fur and fibers upon contact. After many years of research and development, de Mestral managed to reproduce the natural properties of burrs using two strips of fabric: one strip fitted with thousands of tiny hooks and another with looped fabric.

 

When the two strips were forced against each other (on the sides with hooks and loops), they stuck as if they were glued together. Unlike glue, however, the strips could be used over and over again without damaging them. He made the strips out of cotton at first, but later found that nylon worked better and was more durable. de Mestral formally patented his invention in 1955.

 

Today, Velcro is widely used in designing apparel, health care devices, cars, and airplanes. And after decades of research, scientists finally figured out how to make Velcro quieter in 2021.

 

According to cadcrowd.com & Wikipedia


Kyna ( Collect) - WORLDKINGS (Source of photos: Internet)

 

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