Researchers at Purdue University discovered a method for using tannic acid to help create improved adhesives, coatings and manufacturing composites. The acid, which is used to flavor some drinks, may help make electronic components more durable and better for the environment.

The team is using its discovery for epoxy-based polymers, which are considered among the most versatile and useful adhesive agents because of their excellent mechanical strength and strong sticking power. A hardening agent is added to the polymer to ensure stability and stiffness in high-temperature environments.

Epoxy polymers are used in applications including coatings, adhesives, structural composites, insulating materials and electronic components of electronics.