How we stick togetherMarco Sangiorgi
It is incredible how a simple word like “glue” means so much to society and technology at the same time.
Men started to understand the importance of sticking things together about 130 million years ago. We have found tools that had been glued (like stone to wood) by Neanderthals with a natural glue from birch trees overheated, a black smelly paste that has been found on archeological sites.
At the same time, we have experienced that as Human beings we have always lived together in communities, however, separated in family groups. This is very different from our relatives, the Primates, Gorillas or Chimpanzees who prefer multi family communities. There was an intent by The hippies tried it in the 70’s, but it didn’t work. We are not the naked ape anymore, and since the beginning, Human beings have covered themselves not only to combat the adversity of the weather but also as a protection to infidelity, hiding so as not to expose their reproductive parts.
While the material glue being produced by ancient Egyptians using bones,
The Romans invented the Pozzolana concrete, from volcanic ashes left by Mt. Vesuvius in the Gulf of Naples, a combination of sea water and limestone, as Vitruvius explains in his scripts. The most sensational concrete ever produced, that has lasted perfectly after 2000 years.
Our Society has tried to keep us United for Centuries. Gods and Generals and then after them, the Church and the Nations Presidents, being the orchestra and directors of this Unity.
Our technologies around glues have developed, and today while NASA is studying Gecko-inspired dry adhesives as a promising solution for attaching to objects in space including solar panels, fuel tanks, insulation blankets, and other structures, we can ask ourselves;
What is the principal of glue? We have to go back to the “Van Der Waals force” named after the Dutch scientist. Johannes Derik van der Waals. 1910 Nobel prize.
In molecular physics, this force is a distance-dependent interaction between atoms and molecules. To be very elementary, the molecules have a positive negative pole and they tend to be attracted. It is called intermolecular forces.
So, while we progress in glues, nanotechnologies and so on, we still have some glues from the past used to restore ancient Violins like the Stradivari where the lamination with animal-based glues (like rabbit skin) is basic for an extraordinary sound.
In outdoor furniture we love to use Teak wood because it ages with an elegant grey patina, it is one of the most stable of woods. It has a self-polished silky surface thanks to its resins, and a very special anti-slippery performance for the silica it has inside, making it very attractive for boat decks. But reforested teak is not as big as it used to be when it was harvested from secular trees, so at Beltempo, we are obliged to laminate teak with modern glues while still using the same craftsmanship of the past.
Incredible glues are still being developed, The Covid 19 has split us apart. The Unity we could feel at a Stadium, or in a Concert has, for the time being, left us. We can’t, for the time being, Hug! The Hug is so important for humans that children that were denied hugs from their parents feel insecure all their life. 27% of people do not like the human touch, the rest of us love it. A hug, a touch, restores confidence, and a hand in a hand speaks more than a thousand words.
Will we ever recuperate that? Yes we will, Beltempo wants to hug you in a cozy sofa, wants to unify your friends and family around a firepit in the garden.
The same glue we use to laminate our reforested teak is the glue that makes our clients special. We are people who believe in a better future, in a sustainable use of the forests, and in a fast switch from oil generated electricity to Eolian windmills and solar panels.
We pursue the endless attraction of beauty while we explore technologies that are non-intrusive for our wonderful Planet.