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Attaching weatherstrip seals using 3M™ Acrylic Foam Tape

 3M Acrylic Foam Tape

3M has worked closely with a number of vehicle manufacturers to develop a method of attaching weatherstrip seals to the vehicle using 3MTM Acrylic Foam Tape. Benefits include weight reduction, improved sealing and reduced corrosion risk.

The Challenge:

Proven technologies that eliminate components, reduce weight and simplify manufacturing processes provide welcome benefits for any vehicle programme. A number of major European vehicle manufacturers have asked their supplier of high-performance door closure sealing systems to work with 3M to deliver an attachment system that simplifies manufacturing processes and delivers a durable, light-weight solution.

The Solution:

Traditional solutions, for example using mechanical fasteners such as plastic clips, require holes to be provided in the vehicle body, increasing the risk of corrosion. Other mechanical methods can involve metal carriers welded to the vehicle, which add weight. 3M’s solution is to replace mechanical fastening methods with adhesive Acrylic Foam Tape (AFT) that allows the trim component to be quickly and simply attached to the vehicle.

For door seal applications, 3M has worked closely with the sealing supplier and the vehicle manufacturer to optimise the specification and fitting process. The team then worked with the automation supplier to advise on the process requirement and to ensure consistently high manufacturing quality.

The 3M solution has proved so successful that six UK premium carlines now use 3M’s AFT to bond primary door seals to the vehicle, plus many more seal and exterior trim applications involving the attachment of components using 3M Acrylic Foam Tapes.


Weight reduction – overall system weight is reduced compared with mechanical fastenings.

Increasing design flexibility – design revisions can be quickly and cost-effectively accomplished without the need for tooling changes.

Simplified manufacturing processes – the elimination of mechanical fixings removes the need for more complex tooling and additional holes.

Increased customer satisfaction – the constant bond along the length of the trim reduces the ingress of noise and moisture, helping to maintain long-term customer satisfaction.

Wide range of specifications – 3M Acrylic Foam Tapes are available with a range of adhesives and thicknesses to ensure that an optimum adhesive tape can be selected for all applications. This includes tape selection appropriate for each OEMs paint system.

Applications support – 3M can provide advice on component design, adhesive tape selection and application methods from its UK technical facility.

Long-term partner - 3M is a diversified, highly regarded global business that spent more than $1.4bn on R&D during 2008.


  • Primary and secondary door seals,
  • Glass seals,
  • Drip rails,
  • Protective and ornamental mouldings including body side mouldings and roof ditch mouldings,
  • Antenna systems,
  • Rear-view mirrors,
  • Badges and brightwork,
  • Aerodynamic aids.

Challenge us to save you money

Let 3M undertake a free review of opportunities to use acrylic foam tape to reduce manufacturing costs and improve customer satisfaction. Our UK AFT specialists have significant experience in manufacturing cost-down and will be happy to walk your line to discuss areas where 3M technology can help improve manufacturing efficiency..

Contact Us to put us to the test!



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