Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What is double sided tape?
Double-sided tape is any pressure sensitive tape that is coated with adhesive on both sides. It is designed to bond two surfaces together, often in a way which is not visible in the end product, due to it being in between the objects rather than overlaying them. This allows for neater-looking projects and better craftsmanship. Double-sided tape can be either thin or dimensional. Dimensional tape is thicker, and is of particular use for point of sale and signage uses where it can be used to allow signs or displays to stand out.
2. What is 'Pressure Sensitive Tape'?
Pressure sensitive tape is an adhesive tape that will bond with application pressure, without the need for solvent, heat, or water for activation. It can be used in the home, office, industry, and institutions for a wide variety of purposes.
The tape consists of a pressure-sensitive adhesive coated onto a backing material such as paper, plastic film, cloth, or metal foil. Some have a removable release liner which protects the adhesive until the liner is removed. Some have layers of adhesives, primers, easy release materials, filaments, printing, etc. made for specific functions.
Single-sided tapes allow bonding to a surface or joining of two adjacent or overlapping materials. Double-sided tape (adhesive on both sides) allows joining of two items back-to-back.
3. What percent of the final bond strength can I expect immediately after application? After 24 hours? After 72 hours?
This can very much depend on which adhesive you use, typically after an application is made, about 40% - 60% of the bond strength is achieved. As the adhesive continues to wet-out the surface, you can expect the bond to be at about 75% - 80% after 24 hours. After 72 hours, 95%+ of the bond strength is achieved. The bond will continue to build with time.
4. What is a low surface energy plastic/material?
A low surface energy plastic has a hard-to-bond-to surface. Adhesion is the force of attraction between two substrates. The strength of this attraction is determined in part by the surface energy. The higher the surface energy, the greater the attraction; the lower the surface energy, the weaker the attractive forces. A high surface energy plastic allows the adhesive to wet-out or flow to obtain a stronger bond. A low surface energy plastic needs an adhesive specially designed to bond to it or an adhesion promoter to alter the surface energy.
5. How much pressure is necessary for adhesion of a pressure-sensitive attached component to ensure a good bond? How much time is the pressure required?
The goal of pressurization is to achieve 100% wet-out of the adhesive. This can be affected by size, shape, flexibility and tape placement of the components to be bonded. As a rule, a minimum of 6.8 KG/1.27CM width should be used. More flexible components may need less pressure. The time factor is determined more by the flexibility of the component than by needs of the adhesive. Time is not as important as application of firm, even pressure over the entire component. The application of firm, even pressure is key to 100% wet-out of the adhesive.
6. What do you mean by "wet-out"?
Wet-out is simply the physical contact between the adhesive surface and the substrate. One hundred percent wet-out can only be achieved from a properly designed part that is properly pressurized to the substrate. Technically, two types of wet-out exist: visual or macroscopic wet-out, and microscopic wet-out. Only the visual wet-out can be directly controlled by the applicator. The microscopic wet-out is time and temperature related and is a function of the adhesive chemistry, as well as the physical and chemical properties of the substrate. Bond strength continues to build with time partly because this microscopic wet-out or viscoelastic flow continues with time.
7. How can I get the part off after it has been applied?
In general, this is difficult to do unless it is removed immediately after application. The part can be gently heated to soften the adhesive and peeled, or the foam tape can be split at one end and the part carefully peeled off. Tape and adhesive residue can most easily be removed with a Stripe-Off Wheel without the use of solvents. General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner can also be used to soften the adhesive residue, which can then be scraped off with a plastic squeegee.
- What is it you are looking for: Tape or Adhesive?
- What is the finished item?
- What surfaces are you bonding?
- If bonding plastic - which type?
- Are the surfaces coated or treated?
- Is Gap Filling require? If yes what is the Gap size?
- Will the joint be under any load?
- Is the item to be used indoors or outside?
- If indoors will it be near a window?
- Will any temperatures be involved? less or more than 50°C
- With there be contact with moisture?
- Will there be contact with Chemicals?
- Will there be contact with Solvents?
- What is most important regarding the application