Skip to Primary Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to Main Content All 3M.com Site Map

Industrial Adhesives & Tapes

Products
Applications
Industries
Capabilities
Support
Promotions
Brands

Knowing When to use Bonding Tapes to Improve Your Product and Manufacturing Process

 Can 3M Bonding Tapes hold together the materials you want to join with the strength you need?

Some materials are harder to bond than others. But with 3M Bonding Tape technologies, even many materials once defined as "hard-to-bond," such as low surface energy plastics, can be bonded with strength greater than the materials bonded. The list of potential substrates includes glass, wood, steel, concrete, foam, polycarbonate, and just about any other material you can name.

Based on your answers to the following questions, you can decide if it will be worth your time to evaluate specific 3M adhesives and tapes for your operation.

1.
Can 3M Bonding Tapes hold together the materials you want to join with the strength you need?

Some materials are harder to bond than others. But with 3M Bonding Tape technologies, even many materials once defined as "hard-to-bond," such as low surface energy plastics, can be bonded with strength greater than the materials bonded. The list of potential substrates includes glass, wood, steel, concrete, foam, polycarbonate, and just about any other material you can name.

Strength can be readily matched to the substrate and stress characteristics to which the bond will be subjected. Most tapes perform better when the primary stress is tensile or shear. In most industrial applications, however, a combination of stresses are involved that may include cleavage and peel.

Most tapes perform better when the primary stress is tensile or shear. In most industrial applications, however, a combination of stresses are involved that may include cleavage and peel.
  • Tensile is pull exerted equally over the entire joint. Pull direction is straight and away from the adhesive bond.
  • Shear is pull directed across the adhesive, forcing the substrates to slide over each other.
  • Cleavage is pull concentrated at one edge of the joint, exerting a prying force on the bond. The other edge of the joint is theoretically under zero stress.
  • Peel is concentrated along a thin line at the edge of the bond where one substrate is flexible. The line is the exact point where an adhesive would separate if the flexible surface were peeled away from its mating surface. Once peeling has begun, the stress line stays out in front of the advancing bond separation.
2.
Do you want to eliminate the stress concentration caused by spot welds, rivets, screws, or other mechanical fasteners and maintain surface integrity?

Bonding tapes distribute stress evenly over the entire bonded area. A rivet or screw hole in the substrate concentrates stress at the hole and can decrease physical properties of the substrate. With uniform stress distribution of adhesives and tapes, lighter, thinner materials can be used without concerns about distortion, splitting, or crazing at the mechanically fastened site. Elimination of holes in metal also reduces the chances for rust and corrosion.

Bonding tapes distribute stress evenly over the entire bonded area.
3.
Would invisible fastening improve your product's appearance?

3M™ Bonding Tapes are generally hidden between the bonded substrates. Surfaces stay smooth and clean for a more attractive appearance and less surface refinishing.

4.
Laminates of dissimilar materials can often produce combinations superior in strength and performance to either substrate alone. The flexibility of many 3M Bonding Tapes compensates for differences in the coefficients of expansion between such materials as aluminum and wood.
5.
Will your part be subjected to vibration?

The viscoelasticity of many 3M Bonding Tapes improves resistance to vibration fatigue by imparting flexibility to a joint or bonded area.

The viscoelasticity of many 3M Bonding Tapes improves resistance to vibration fatigue by imparting flexibility to a joint or bonded area.
6.
Is the design of your part right for adhesive tape bonding?

Adhesive tapes perform better with some part configurations than with others. 3M Bonding Tapes meet the requirements of most parts that can be assembled with mechanical or fusion fastening. For cleaner, more efficient application, die-cut pressure sensitive adhesive tapes can be precisely placed on smaller, irregularly shaped bonding surfaces.

7.
Do you want to bond and simultaneously seal between the substrates?

With many 3M Bonding Tapes, continuous contact between mating surfaces effectively bonds and seals against dirt, dust, water, and other environmental conditions. 3M Bonding Tapes also provide a film barrier to reduce or prevent bimetallic corrosion that often occurs in bonding two different types of metal.

8.
Will your finished assembly be exposed to harsh environmental conditions?

Some 3M Bonding Tapes do not hold well when exposed to very low or very high temperatures, high humidity, chemicals, or even water. Other adhesives are specially formulated to resist harsh environments.

9.
Does your part need to be disassembled for maintenance or service?

When assembled with most 3M Bonding Tapes, parts are generally difficult or virtually impossible to disassemble without damaging the part. As an exception, hot melt adhesives can be reheated and reused, but in most instances reuse would be messy and impractical. As already noted, repositionable tapes are available, but application is restricted to lighter duty attachment or closure.

3M reclosable fasteners consist of 3M™ Scotchmate™ Reclosable Fasteners (hook and loop construction) or 3M™ Dual Lock™ Reclosable Fasteners (self-mating). They include a variety of attachment options including pressure sensitive adhesives, ultrasonic bonding and other methods. These products allow parts to be separated for easy maintenance or service.

10.
 Do you want to cut costs, increase production and simplify your operation?

With 3M Bonding Tapes, you can see cost reduction through reduced material requirements, weight reductions, and elimination of drilling, welding, screwing, finishing, and similar operations. In most cases, 3M Bonding Tapes require minimal training and little or no investment in equipment.

Try the 3M TSR Program

Using the 3M Technical Service Request (TSR) Program, a 3M representative will work with you on initial testing of an adhesive design solution. One or two best options will be identified then a sample of your substrate is brought to the 3M Laboratories and tested for stress or other factors the product will encounter. The 3M test results will help you select the best design solution for your manufacturing process and customer needs.

Work with 3M at your manufacturing plant through the 3M IATD Design Solutions Program: Using the 3M IATD Design Solutions Program, we identify a design solution then works side-by-side with you, at your manufacturing plant, to ensure your personnel are trained in the new manufacturing process. Follow-up visits and ongoing support are key parts of the program.

We are eager to work with you. Please contact us by email to discuss your project or call 800-362-3550.

Back