Can tape solve all of life’s problems?
It’s debatable. However, what the right tape CAN do is provide a quick and easy application, fixing challenges so you can get back to doing your job.
In any business, objects are likely to break, become damaged, or simply need to be connected. If the need to fasten and patch things together is a constant variable in your company, it only makes sense that you’d want a fast solution that allows you to move on to the next task.
Throughout the past three decades, Strouse has shared the strength and resistance of 3M VHB and helped customers choose a type based on their specific product.
Today, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about 3M VHB tape, including what it is, what it can do, and whether it’s ideal for your business needs.
What is 3M VHB Tape Used For?
Many types of tape are made only to hold simple household items or make work in an office setting easier. Others are created for more specific uses, like professional painter's tape, or reflective tape used on commercial vehicles. In any case, you rarely find a type of tape engineered to tackle the toughest challenges in the industry.
3M VHB industrial tapes are a quick and efficient interior and exterior bonding solution. Rather than a temporary fix until you find a better product; 3M VHB tape IS the solution. These adhesive tapes are designed to permanently adhere to practically any surface, including metal, wood, glass, and many surface energy plastics and paints.
3M VHB tape is created using naturally viscoelastic acrylic foam, meaning it’s flexible yet able to retain its high strength while stretching to fit around an object. This gives the foam energy-absorbing and stress-relaxing properties, allowing it to sit perfectly on any surface and even move with the attached item.
The VHB tape is actually a subcategory or "family" of adhesive tapes. Each product is unique, and you’ll want to buy the specific 3M VHB tape that works for your conditions. For example, the '49' tape family is great for a broad range of surfaces, including glass and plastics, while the '59' tape family works on most powder-coated plastics, and the RP+ tape family is geared towards metals and mismatched surfaces.
For these reasons, 3M VHB double sided tape tends to be a constant go-to choice for many industrial uses and continues to help businesses create practical solutions to industrial problems.
What Are the Benefits of Using 3M VHB Tape?
3M VHB tape is tough, temperature resistant, conformable, discreet, and used to attach dissimilar materials. Many benefits come with using 3M VHB tape, and more uses are created as it continues to make its name in the industry daily.
By reviewing the top six benefits of using 3M VHB, we’ll cover why many companies adopt it as an alternative to mechanical fasteners.
1. IT'S ONE OF THE TOUGHEST MATERIALS OUT THERE
3M VHB tape offers one of the strongest bonds out of any adhesive. In fact, VHB tape has been certified in the industry to have a powerful bond (it's in the name: VHB = “Very High Bond”).
Its adhesive properties alone give it an incredibly durable hold on any surface. Still, combined with its elastic properties, it can absorb the shock of any load, making it perfect for static and dynamic operations.
Furthermore, the potent adhesive mix in the tape allows it to hold strong and long. 3M VHB tape can stay in place for many years and will continue doing its job just as well as it did the first time it was applied.
2. IT CAN WORK IN EXTREME TEMPERATURES
Every product is limited to the hot or cold conditions it functions in, and the same goes for tape. Most adhesives have a limited temperature range, with their cool spectrum capping off at 10 degrees Celsius or 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
3M VHB double sided tape is much more durable than your everyday tape, taking on freezing temperatures of 0 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. THE TAPE CAN MOLD TO ANY SHAPE
You undoubtedly work with equipment that has a multitude of complex parts. Often, difficult parts are too challenging to fix properly with traditional adhesives, and fasteners have a fixed shape that might not solve the problem.
The VHB adhesive’s contouring abilities allow it to stretch, squeeze, and otherwise shape itself around any surface with ease, and its foam-based material helps it to flow into microscopic irregularities in the item and seal them all shut, guaranteeing a powerful and long-lasting bond.
4. YOU CAN'T SEE IT (LOW VISIBILITY)
While you COULD hang your family photos using duct tape, there are several reasons why you’d probably use low-visibility adhesives.
Regular tape can be bulky, uneven, and rely on the precision of your application, but with certain 3M VHB tapes, you won't be able to see a thing after you’ve applied them. That's because many VHB tapes were designed to go virtually invisible after application, so you can get results that look smooth.
5. YOU CAN USE IT TO COMBINE DISSIMILAR MATERIALS
You may be limited with what you can use traditional adhesives and fasteners on.
In most cases, fasteners are designed only to fit a specific way within a particular material, and even though adhesives can be used on a decent range of surfaces, they are still limited to certain types of bonding due to the materials they may be made of.
3M VHB tape has no limitations. VHB tape can not only fasten together almost any surface you can throw at it, but it can also hold together surfaces made from entirely different materials with no problem. Feel free to combine metal with wood, wood with plastic, or anything else your heart desires; the correct VHB tape will hold it together and offer guaranteed security.
6. IT OFFERS DOUBLE THE POWER
The 3M VHB tape comes with not one, but two sides of adhesive sticking power, so you can get double the strength and double the power from every use. This means it doesn't just cover up cracks or fasten small sections; the VHB tape can combine whole parts using both sides, offering its strength to manage stress loads and complete even the most significant projects.
How Does 3M VHB Tape Compare With Other Fasteners?
Depending on how long your business has run, you may have grown fond of traditional fasteners. However, sometimes change is necessary to upgrade your business to new heights.
3M VHB tape is a consistent and reliable tool for many products, and to help demonstrate why people change, we’ll explain a few reasons you might want to switch things up.
IT'S VERY COST-EFFICIENT
Have you ever evaluated how much you spend on your rivets, clamps, bolts, and other holds and fasteners? Surely it's quite a lot- so much that you're better off not looking at the numbers for fear of cringing.
Buying 3M VHB tape is as cheap as you can get when it comes to fasteners - but that doesn't mean it's a low-quality product in any way. In fact, VHB tape is on par with almost any other fastening product currently on the market, helping you take care of your problems for only a fraction of the price.
ONE SIZE FITS ALL
More than a drain on the wallet, fasteners can also be cumbersome, easy to lose, and hard to find when needed. This can cause work progress delays, making it difficult to complete your primary objective.
VHB tape drastically reduces your chances of being caught in this problem. The adhesive tape can work as a fastener for almost any project; simply grab the tape, place or wrap it around the material, and voila! The problem is solved, and the material can be used once the tape finishes bonding to the surface.
NO NEED FOR THE EXTRA MECHANICAL WORK
Let's say you want to use a new fastener to connect two pieces, but these pieces need the proper female counterparts to place the fasteners into. To connect them, you must modify the pieces so the fastener can fit properly. This could end up causing more problems than it's worth.
Drilling, riveting, welding, and other forms of parts modification can be time-consuming, especially if you need all the equipment or know how to do it yourself on-site. You may also need to modify the type of fastener you use, which could mean getting a custom manufacturing job done.
3M VHB tape doesn't need modifications, professional workmanship, or extra cash to work its wonders. It's as simple as placing a strip of tape along the areas that need bonding to do its job.
Which 3M VHB Tape is Best For Me?
You’ve learned about the many benefits of 3M VHB tape, but you still need to figure out which tape you need. Luckily for you, Strouse has bought our fair share of VHB.
You can find plain rolls of VHB online, but when you’re looking for custom lengths and shapes, you’ll want to seek out the help of an eto check your design for manufacturability and get you started on your way towards production.
Strouse helps companies like yours select the right 3M VHB tape for the job and provide it in the format most conducive to your process, whether in rolls, die cuts, sheets, or multi-stack lamination. In addition, we offer 3M VHB double sided tape, tape masking solutions, medical device adhesives, surface protection tape, industrial and fastener tape, and more.
In the VHB Selection Guide above, you'll find the adhesive solution that best suits your project and a detailed explanation of your options going forward. If you have any questions, about VHB or making a selection, please contact us.
Originally published: May 4, 2020