Helping Purps the Penguin Heal

Henkel Adhesive Technologies provides innovative solutions that meet the needs of even the most unique customers

Innovation Adhesive Technologies Jan 20, 2022
The LOCTITE® team used its adhesive technologies and the power of 3D printing to create a boot Purps the penguin could feel comfortable in

They wear tuxedo’s, have flippers instead of wings, and parade around with arguably one of the most adorable waddles on the planet. Penguins are majestic and a special part of our marine ecosystem.

So, when a local penguin needed help healing. Henkel and its partners stepped up.

Purps is an endangered African Penguin living in a colony at Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut, not far from Henkel North America’s headquarters in Rocky Hill, CT. After injuring her ankle, Purps was in need of support to enhance her mobility and ensure she could carry on as a happy, active penguin.

Helping Purps heal became a true community effort. With the help of ACT 3D Equipment and Services, local middle school students and other community partners, a special boot was designed for Purps. While the initial boot greatly improved her quality of life, daily wear and tear meant it consistently needed to be replaced.

“The original boot was successful in improving Purps’ gait, but we found that it needed to be replaced often due to wear and tear. We knew the boot needed to be reprinted in a more durable material such that it could withstand the environmental aspects of Purps’ everyday life,” said Emily Turcan, Applications Engineer at ACT 3D. “We reached out to our partner LOCTITE®, looking for assistance in identifying a high-performance material that would combat the environmental and durability challenges. The LOCTITE® adhesives team worked tirelessly and developed a material that dramatically increased the life-span of the boot and provided Purps with the support needed to live a happy life.”

The LOCTITE® team used its adhesive technologies and the power of 3D printing to create a boot Purps could feel comfortable in.

The LOCTITE® team used its adhesive technologies and the power of 3D printing to create a boot Purps could feel comfortable in.

When we heard about Purps, we knew this was an opportunity to bring creative thinking and innovation technologies together to solve a unique challenge. This project highlights the power of Henkel Adhesive technologies and how 3D Printing can provide a significant impact on life, even for animals in our community. It's been such an honor to support Purps through her injury and provide her an improved quality of life.

The LOCTITE® brand’s elastomeric resin was used to 3D print the boot to provide the necessary support for Purps to continue living a normal, active life. The resin used features high-performance mechanical properties that offer durability, a superior tear strength, and long-term stability. The boot was a resounding success and even though the team created multiple boots for Purps to have on hand, she continues to wear the very first LOCTITE® adhesive iteration of the boot.

Purps The Penguin Reboot - Thumbnail

Our work at the aquarium is to inspire people to care for our oceans and the animals that rely on these important ecosystems and we do that through education, conservation and research. The journey to get Purps a boot was really about doing all three. It brought an incredibly diverse group of people with varying areas of expertise from across our community to solve this unique challenge. It’s a connection we’ll always have and be grateful for and represents the power of innovation in helping to protect our planet and the species that inhabit it.

Henkel’s Adhesive Technologies business is about transformation and innovation and our products support more than 800 different industries. From packaging and papers to automotive and industrials, our adhesives, sealants and coatings are the result of unmatched technology and innovation designed to help change and improve the products and processes we rely on. Purps’ story is another way our brands are bringing innovative, tailor-made solutions to communities

…and meeting even the most unique needs.

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Anyone who successfully manages brands over generations needs the right balance of tradition and innovation. By understanding change, we can shape the future. This is also reflected in Henkel's corporate purpose: “Pioneers at heart for the good of generations”.