Pressure sensitive adhesive tape has become the preferred solution for many adhesive needs. Its flexibility, strength, design, and versatility provide many assembly advantages. It’s so impressive, we recently ran this 3-part blog series.
As we explored in the first article in that series, engineers have used many solutions — each with their own limitations — to bond materials. The right pressure sensitive adhesive tape can replace these inefficient options and add additional benefits: evenly distributing pressure, converting to custom sizes/shapes, adding design aesthetics, and more.
Products Being Replaced By Pressure Sensitive Adhesive Tape
Although industrial manufacturers still have many options when it comes to bonding materials, it’s becoming more and more apparent that pressure sensitive adhesive tape, or PSA, is the most effective solution. Here’s a breakdown of what’s being replaced because of their limitations.
1. Liquid Adhesives
Liquid adhesives are often used for high-strength applications but can be challenging to apply, usually by automated machines. This can be an added expense for manufacturers, and it may not fit easily into their assembly process. For manual applications, liquid adhesives can be tricky to apply and difficult to control the process.
Either method, most liquid adhesives also require curing, which generates an extra step during the assembly process.
2. Spray Adhesives
Spray adhesives are also tricky to apply, usually requiring a specialized applicator for manual or automatic application. Because manual application can introduce variables into an assembly process, it can cause quality control concerns.
Even with processes developed to apply them, both liquid and spray adhesives can also be messy, and it can be challenging to get a uniform thickness across the entire surface.
3. Mechanical Fasteners
Rivets, screws, brackets, bolts, retaining rings … mechanical fasteners of all kinds are used for industrial applications that require a permanent bond. These heavy pieces, however, can slow down assembly times.
For instance, to use rivets, holes need to be drilled into materials, which create stress points in the material. Unless they’re applied evenly and thoroughly, they can increase the likelihood of bond failure. Fasteners also corrode over time or fall out due to vibrations, depending on how the product is used.
Modern engineers are shying away from mechanical fasteners because they add unnecessary weight without guaranteeing a permanent bond. Switching to pressure sensitive adhesion can simultaneously help improve product design and reduce costs.
For years, welding has been considered one of the best ways to achieve a quick and permanent bond. However, not all materials can be welded, and trying to weld dissimilar materials can create additional problems, such as corrosion.
Welding is also a labor-intensive process, significantly increasing labor and material costs. When it comes to a product being aesthetically pleasing, weld lines and weld marks often leave surfaces looking rough and unfinished. Welding slag is also a byproduct of some welding processes that needs to be removed using manual or power tools.
PSA Science Has Advanced Tremendously
During the last few decades, many applications have been replaced by the pressure sensitive adhesives, resulting in lighter, smoother, smaller, and better looking solutions. PSAs, now some of the most trusted permanent bonding solutions, open up design possibilities for engineers. No more worrying about designing for fasteners, welds, or other difficult-to-apply bonding solutions.
Adhesives can be converted to custom sizes, shapes, and formats. Die cutting PSAs can create an adhesive part that fits seamlessly into any assembly process, whether automated or manually applied. Die cut PSAs also provide the unique advantage of an evenly distributed bond throughout the adhesive part’s entire shape without creating concentrated stress points such as those created by rivets and other mechanical fasteners.
The Right Converter Is Key
PSAs are used for bonding in many industrial and consumer products where both aesthetics and high performance are crucial. Yet, there are so many different kinds of adhesives available in the market. Trying to choose the right one can quickly become overwhelming.
That’s just one reason why partnering with an expert converter is really the smartest move. These pros consider a product’s function, material (and its surface energy), environmental concerns, design details, and budget. Having an expert in using PSA tapes on your side is the most reliable way to go from rough sketches to reliable solutions that nail the exact size, specs, and function of what’s needed.
Strouse works with the most scientifically advanced adhesive tapes in the world. We apply what we know to each project, resulting in an incredible understanding of what will work best. If you need an immediate answer to a PSA question, give Strouse a call (800)-410-8273, or ask an engineer!