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Industrial Adhesives & Tapes


Tapes and Adhesives are replacing Rivets and Welds

Replacing mechanical fasteners may seem challenging, but 3M has the materials science capability and application testing tools to help you through the process.

Adhesives & Tapes offer a unique attachment method to revolutionize your new product designs which offer specific advantages over mechanical fasteners. These products are increasingly replacing rivets and welds in challenging applications.

Advanced Materials: Composites and new plastics offer new material choices that require new and sophisticated attachment solutions.

  • Aesthetics: Surface finish is a critical parameter in building an appealing device, adhesives provide invisible fastening and clean appearance.
  • Dissimilar Materials: Attaching two different materials is a challenge for conventional fasteners; adhesives provide bonding systems that are compatible with a vast range of material combinations and provide a solution for mismatch in C.T.E.
  • Durability: Demanding applications require a demanding solution; adhesives have found application in a wide variety of environmentally challenging areas including cold, heat, UV, and vibration.
  • Reliability: Adhesives have been used in demanding applications for over 60 years and will continue to provide an excellent option for revolutionizing your next design.

Wherever you are right now, look around and you can find adhesive technology at work. Components of your computer; laminate on your desktop; wood, plastic, foam, and fabric of your chair. Metal filing cabinet. Ductwork in the ceiling. Glass in your window. Your car outside and the golf clubs in the trunk. The plane passing overhead. The satellite several miles higher. In many of the applications that you’ll find, adhesives and tapes have replaced rivets, screws, nuts, bolts, nails, staples, needle and thread, or welds. Often, adhesives and tapes make the application possible. Based on answers to the following questions, you can decide if you should consider adhesives and tapes to improve your product and process.

Q. Can adhesives reliably hold together the materials in my specific application?
The answer is “yes” to most combinations you can imagine. Even materials once defined as “hard-to-bond” can be bonded with strength greater than the materials bonded. Strength can be readily matched to the substrate, stresses, and environmental conditions to which the bond will be subjected, e.g., temperature extremes, chemicals, weathering, water. Viscoelasticity of many formulations also improves resistance to vibration fatigue with flexibility at the bonded area.

Q. Do adhesives eliminate the stress concentration caused by spot welds, as well as the holes from rivets or other mechanical fasteners?
Adhesives distribute stress evenly over the entire bonded area and maintain surface integrity, bonding and sealing simultaneously. Lighter, thinner, less expensive materials can be considered without concerns about holes, distortion, splitting, or crazing at the mechanically fastened site. A rivet or screw hole concentrates stress at the hole and can decrease physical properties of a substrate, e.g., composite. Holes in metal invite rust and corrosion. Without holes, fastener heads or burn marks, you also have an aesthetically smooth surface.

Q. Can I bond dissimilar materials?
Adhesive-bonded laminates of dissimilar materials can be superior in strength and performance to either substrate alone. Adhesives also provide a film barrier to reduce or prevent bimetallic corrosion between different metals. Adhesive flexibility compensates for different coefficients of thermal expansion.

Q. Can adhesives help cut costs, increase production, and simplify my operation?
You can see cost reduction through reduced material requirements and elimination of drilling, welding, finishing, and similar operations. In most cases, adhesives require minimal training. Application equipment needs only to be consistent with your desired production rate. A collapsible squeeze tube, for example, may be all that’s necessary to bond plastic parts. Tape can be simply rolled on by hand to bond metal panels to frames.

Q. How can I be sure?
To help you evaluate adhesive success for your application, you can submit a Technical Service Request through your local 3M adhesives representative. From an extensive technical team, 3M experts will be assigned to evaluate your specifications and expectations, and if necessary obtain from you for testing the substrates or parts involved.

Additional Resources:
Handbook of Adhesives and Sealants, Second Edition
Edward M. Petrie
Adhesion and Adhesives Technology
Alphonsus V. Pocius
Hanser/Gardner Publications