3M VHB Surface Preparation and Application Steps

Proper preparation of a surface prior to the application of 3M™ VHB Tape is a key factor in ensuring maximum bond strength. Many failures can be attributed to poor surface preparation.

Proper preparation of a surface prior to the application of 3M™ VHB Tape is a key factor in ensuring maximum bond strength. Many failures can be attributed to poor surface preparation.

  • To obtain optimum adhesion, the bonding surfaces must be well unified, clean and dry. Typical surface cleaning solvents are IPA/water mixture (rubbing alcohol or heptane* (Steps A and B in picture to right).*
  • Bond strength is dependent upon the amount of adhesive-to-surface contact developed. Firm application pressure develops better adhesive contact and helps improve bond strength (Steps C and D in picture to right).  Generally, this means that the tape should experience at least 15 psi (100 kPa) in roll down or platen pressure.
  • After application, the bond strength will increase as the adhesive flows onto the surface. At room temperature, approximately 50% of the ultimate strength will be achieved after 20 minutes, 90% after 24 hours and 100% after 72 hours. In some cases, bond strength can be increased and ultimate bond strength can be achieved more quickly by exposure of the bond to elevated temperatures (e.g. 66C for 1 hour).

*Note: These cleaner solutions contain greater than 250 g/l of volatile organic compounds (VOC). Please consult your local Air Quality Regulations to be sure the cleaner is compliant. When using solvents, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s precautions and directions for use when handling such materials.

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