Edited by Jean M. Hoffman
David Reinfeld, a former aerospace designer and president of Shelf-works Technologies Inc., Englewood, N.J., discovered the technology. It is based on engineering principles of friction, not suction. The design uses levers that create force and friction as polypropylene pads over-molded with proprietary TPE alloys touch surfaces. The Versaflex TPEs from GLS Corp., McHenry, Ill., stick or adhere to smooth, rough, and porous surfaces.
"We knew the specific properties the TPEs needed," says Reinfeld. "I had worked with GLS at my old job so they were the prime candidate for developing the proprietary formulations needed both for aesthetic as well as mechanical attributes."
To install a shelf, one need only align it in a corner and simply push a knob on the outside of the shelf inward until the internal spring snaps into place. A slight turn of the knob locks the shelf into place with hidden pads over-molded with the TPE. The shelves are equally easy to remove by turning the knob to unlock them from the wall.
Corner Smart shelves used for drywall applications can hold up to 6 lb. Shelves in bathrooms or wet conditions hold up to 4 lb and have no metal, so they don't rust. The next focus, says Shelfworks, is on office products, or possibly military and sports applications that must support hundreds of pounds.