Industrial Tapes News

Top Applications and Benefits of 3M VHB Tapes

(BPT) – 3M VHB tapes are used by manufacturers across industries for their unique adhesive characteristics and manufacturability. VHB stands for “Very High Bond,” and as the name implies, VHB tape can be an ideal material for permanent bonding applications. This versatile family of double-sided foam tapes uses acrylic adhesives to provide high bond strength that actually increases over time. VHB tape can be used to replace screws, rivets, welds and other traditional fasteners, as well as for NVH solutions and other applications. To understand what makes this material so popular, let’s explore the main benefits and most common applications of 3M VHB tapes.

Benefits of VHB tape

There are many reasons why manufacturers across nearly every industry use VHB tapes in their products. Some of the top benefits of VHB tape include:

  • Extremely high bond strength
  • Durable bonding in heat, cold or cycling temperatures
  • Resistant to UV light, moisture and solvents
  • Invisible bond for enhanced design concepts
  • Lightweight compared to traditional mechanical fasteners
  • Distributes dynamic or static stress loads over the entire applied surface
  • Prevents corrosion by creating a barrier between mating metal components
  • Bonding-on-contact speeds assembly and increases manufacturing efficiency
  • Easier to work with than liquid adhesives in production environments

Top VHB tape applications

VHB tape is routinely used to create a range of bonding, attachment and sealing solutions. Some of the most common applications for VHB tape include:

  • Panel-to-frame bonding
  • Panel-to-panel bonding
  • Stiffener-to-panel bonding
  • Eliminating rivets
  • NVH solutions
  • Decorative material attachment
  • Environmental sealing
  • Bonding for lens window to housing

Selecting the right VHB tape

3M boasts a wide catalog of VHB tape formulations to meet diverse manufacturing needs. With so many options to choose from, it’s important to select the material best suited to your product and process requirements. Engineers, designers and other manufacturing leaders should consider these factors to guide material selection:

Thickness — Thicker tapes are often used for applications with higher rigidity or irregular surfaces. Thinner tapes, on the other hand, are often better suited for applications involving flexible materials. 3M VHB tapes are available in various thicknesses ranging from 0.2 mm up to 3.0 mm.

Bond flexibilityTape bonding is generally more flexible than mechanical fasteners, which can open up new design possibilities during product development. On the other hand, for applications that require higher stiffness in the final assembly, corresponding design modifications may be necessary.

Extreme temperatures — The elastic properties of 3M VHB tapes are maintained between -40°C and 90°C, and the ideal temperature range for application is between 20°C and 40°C. In general, VHB tapes provide durable bond strength when exposed to cold, heat and cycling temperatures. Some formulations have been tested and proven to provide lasting adhesion up to 149°C. But if a product will be exposed to extreme temperatures, specialty materials may be required.

Surface preparation — The best way to ensure proper adhesion and lasting bond strength is to adequately prepare component surfaces prior to application. Porous surfaces like wood and concrete should be sealed, silane treatments are good for glass, and any heavy oils or grease should be removed using a solvent-based cleaner. For materials like copper, rubber, plastics and others, specialty preparation may be required.

The bottom line

3M VHB tapes can be extremely useful when developing sealing, bonding and attachment, and NVH solutions. Evans EVCO can die cut VHB tape to your exact specifications with tight tolerances to help boost manufacturing efficiency and enhance end products.

Thinking about using VHB tape in your next project? Schedule a consultation with your helpful Evans EVCO representative today to see how our converting capabilities and materials expertise can add value to your business.

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