An award-winning author, Stefan Vucak has written seven techno sci-fi novels, including With Shadow and Thunder, which went on to become a 2002 EPPIE finalist. Mr. Vucak's "Shadow Gods Saga" books have been highly acclaimed by both readers and critics. His recent release, Cry of Eagles, has won the coveted 2011 Readers Favorite silver medal award.
Stefan Vucak leveraged a successful career in the Information Technology industry and has used that discipline to create realistic, highly believable storylines for his novels. Born in Croatia, he now resides in Melbourne, Australia.
If you had to describe your book in two sentences, what would they be?
A Mossad black ops team sabotages a refinery complex in Galveston, plants evidence that incriminates Iran, confident that an enraged America will strike back in retaliation. But the Mossad team makes one small mistake, which the FBI exploits to uncover the plot before America vents its wrath on Iran and plunges the world into political and economic turmoil.
Do you have a favorite line or excerpt from your current work?
“Remember that patch of sticky substance on the detonator casing? Well, I believe I found out what it was.”
“It’s adhesive residue from a sticky label.”
Tom frowned, completely thrown off the track. This was the big news? “You mean an ordinary office sticky label? You’ve lost me. What’s the significance?”
“Ordinarily, none,” Brian admitted with a small shrug. “But bear with me. I ran a sample through a mass spectrograph to identify the components. You see, most pressure-sensitive adhesives use a blend of rubbery elastomer and low molecular weight tackifier resin. The tackifier is used primarily to modify the viscoelastic characteristics of the adhesive. Commercially, these are mainly solvent and water-borne acrylic emulsions. You with me so far?”
Tom nodded. He’d been around forensic technicians long enough to understand most of the parlance. “I think so. These substances control the degree of stickiness?”
“Right. Simply put, they determine how well a label will adhere to a given surface, how long it will remain attached and how easy it is to remove. The adhesive is supposed to remain permanently tacky, but variations in material composition and manufacture processes mean that there is a degree of disparity across brands. Now, most PSAs involve a base polymer such as natural rubber that’s mixed with additives and tackifiers to produce the desired adhesion and peel value.”
“The effort required to remove the label?”
“Right again. You need to realize that PSA performance can be modified by environmental conditions, particularly temperature. Too hot or too cold and your sticky label won’t stick or will bind permanently. So, manufacturers have played around with emulsion acrylics to improve adhesion and peel properties. One material that’s being used is chitosan.”