Do you know how tape was used in the construction of your vehicle?
Automotive is a massive industry with many niche adhesive components. At Strouse, we manufacture automotive parts daily, so we’ve witnessed the scale of unique applications firsthand.
Once you understand the different types of automotive adhesives, you’ll better know what you’re looking for and how it works in tandem with other adhesive components of your vehicle’s design.
What Adhesives Are Used in Automotive Applications?
From the initial manufacturing process to years down the road, automotive adhesive applications can protect many vehicle components.
Yet, what are the specific ways tape is used to bond together different parts of an automobile?
These examples will demonstrate the purpose of automotive adhesives and allow you to understand how die cut components are used in vehicles.
1. SURFACE PROTECTIVE FILM
Have you ever considered how vehicles reach the lot all shiny and new? Perhaps you’ve even had the pleasure of peeling fresh screen protectors off the interior of a new car.
Automobile surface protection films shield surfaces from damage during transportation. These protective barriers are utilized during various steps in the process, like mid-production shipments.
Automotive pieces are often transported between manufacturers or facilities for the final assembly.
For instance, a manufacturer might build the cab and ship it to another facility to add the vehicle bed and complete its final assembly. These pieces use die cut surface protection films to prevent any damage during shipment: often polyethylene sheets with a mild adhesive.
After vehicle construction is finished, manufacturers use wheel masks and interior masking solutions to deter scratches or marks before it reaches the lot.
2. HIGH BONDAGE CONNECTIONS
If you’re thinking, “What tape holds car parts together?” you’ll probably want to know it’s high bondage tape.
Manufacturers use Very High Bondage (VHB) tape to achieve powerful bonds for part mounting and making connections on the vehicle’s exterior.
For instance, brand vehicle badges are often attached using acrylic foam VHB tape because it’s strong enough to last. Another example is mirror technology, in which manufacturers use VHB tape to connect lights and blind spot sensors to the other mirror components.
3. AUTOMOTIVE GASKETS AND SEALING
In the past, electronic vehicle components were bound using plastic clips and screws. Modern vehicles are full of screens and other features on the central console, and gasketing solutions help fend off dirt, hair, and other debris from wedging its way underneath and obscuring the view.
To achieve total effectiveness in airtight gasketing for visual components, you must find a manufacturer capable of preventing their gaskets from gathering particles before installation.
You can learn more about manufacturing clean gaskets for long-term electronics protection through resources on clean room die cutting.
4. PAINT MASKING KITS
Paint masking protects windows, mirrors, headlights, and other surfaces during vehicle painting.
Rather than using rolls of tape, which lead to inconsistent and lengthy applications, masking kits allow manufacturers to achieve a much faster production using easy-to-use die cut masking products.
Die cut converters often build masking kits per vehicle, allowing manufacturers to achieve accurate applications and avoid common mistakes such as accidentally overlooking areas during the masking process.
5. SOUNDPROOFING MATERIALS
Is there anything more irritating than an unidentifiable rattling noise on a long car ride?
Soundproofing materials in automobiles are used in locations where plastic paneling touches metal, like in between the windows and pillars of a vehicle. Materials like VHB can help prevent plastic on metal rattling.
Another vehicle soundproofing application is used wherever the exterior shell meets the interior. By soundproofing specific contact points, automobile manufacturers stop constant buzz, squeak, and rattling noises.
Lastly, soundproofing pads, mats, and other components can be built into or added to the interior of the doors, ceilings, and floors of many vehicles.
6. EMI APPLICATIONS
As mentioned above in gaskets and sealing, modern vehicles are riddled with touch screens and other electronics.
Electrically conductive adhesives are a staple of internal consoles and electrical vehicle batteries. In addition, EMI and RFI shielding materials can protect both areas from unwanted signals and help isolate their individual functions.
7. VEHICLE WIRE HARNESSES
Vehicle wire harnesses are an assembly of wires or electrical cables that connect all electrical components. They manage the level of energy flowing through the vehicle to prevent it from interfering with other mechanisms.
These harnesses are often created using electrical tape along the vehicle’s inner underside. However, depending on the type of automobile, the material used for vehicle wire harnessing may vary.
8. AUTOMOTIVE LABELS
Automotive labels are located below the vehicle’s undercarriage and underneath its hood.
Unlike your typical label stock, automotive labels use chemical and weather-resistant materials to endure harsh conditions. These materials are more expensive but will last for years in harsh conditions.
Automotive labels can resist many potential weathering agents, including motor oil, antifreeze, brake fluid, and others.
Where Can I Find Automotive Adhesives?
The place you find automotive adhesives will vary based on what you’re looking for.
If you’re searching for a simple component for a few vehicles, you might be better off searching for tape on Amazon. However, if you’re looking for customized parts for a high quantity of vehicles, try a flexible material converter.
There are plenty of flexible material manufacturers that service the automotive industry, such as 3M, tesa, Adhesive Applications, and Berry to name a few.
However, if you’re looking for converted parts, perhaps even with clean room capabilities and a dedication to helping customers learn, you might consider giving Strouse a try.
When you’re looking for quality custom parts that utilize your design to get the most out of your material, think of Strouse’s capabilities.
Do you want to see for yourself? Try out our sample-making process before you scale into high-volume manufacturing: