This is the question designers and engineers ask themselves while working on new products in many industries. There are, of course, such products or components of products where screw joints will always work best, which means that screws and bolts cannot be totally eliminated. However, for many years now a growing interest in such products as double-sided adhesive tape for permanent bonding of components has been observed. Such a trend is particularly visible in the automotive, electronics, household appliances, construction, or advertising industries.
One of the largest manufacturers of such tapes in the form of adhesive films or double-sided adhesive tapes is the 3M concern. For many years, the products of this company have been successfully used in many industries, and the high market expectations cause new ones dedicated to specific applications to appear. One of such products that has been known for a few years are VHB tapes or groups of tapes created with specific industries, or even products or applications, in mind.
VHB acrylic tape – what is it?
It is a double-sided acrylic mounting tape. As distinct from other commonly used double-sided tapes, its characteristic feature is lack of a carrier on which an adhesive is applied to both sides. The VHB tape is homogeneous, made entirely of foamed self-adhesive acrylic. This is one of the features which makes acrylic VHB tapes special. It allows two materials of different coefficients of thermal expansion, e.g., glass and aluminium, to be permanently joined.
To put it simply: 3M Very High Bond. A permanent bonding which becomes even stronger over time. It seals against water and dust, dampens vibrations, is resistant to changing weather conditions. These are the most essential properties of VHB.
As usual, there is no universal product!
Depending on the industry and application, tapes with different properties, different thickness from 0.1 mm to several millimetres and in many colours, such as transparent, grey, and black, have been created.
Permanent bonding with an acrylic type – what to look out for?
- the physical and chemical properties of the materials to be bonded – type and surface energy are of key significance here
- surface – smooth or rough
- rigidity of materials
- flexibility of the materials to be bonded
- conditions in which the bonding will function – temperature and its changes, weather conditions.
Of course, we should not forget to prepare the surface properly and apply sufficient pressure when bonding.
Tape or die-cut?
VHB is not only a product in the form of a tape. Where possible, a die-cut matching the product can be used. For instance, tapes are used in the construction industry and manufacture of laminated glass and aluminium and glass panels which are frequently found on the facades of office buildings. Die-cuts are used in electronics or automotive industry where high precision is required and where the components we bond are small and often of irregular shapes. For many years Etisoft has been successfully offering VHB mounting tape die-cuts to many industries.
Let’s get back to the question: to bond or to screw?
Where possible, I recommend the use of double-sided VHB tapes or die-cuts. It should be remembered that a properly made adhesive bonding relieve the strain on the structure and transfer stresses to the whole bonding surface, which cannot be said of bolted joints.
It is always up to the designer or design engineer.
I recommend bonding! It is easy, clean, and aesthetic. I use it privately myself😊
More benefits of adhesive bonding – click here.
If you want to learn more about 3M VHB double-sided acrylic mounting tapes, receive free samples, conduct tests on your products, send an enquiry. You’re welcome to visit us.