You’re reviewing your order for a massive quantity of VHB tape when the thought hits you: “What’s the application temperature for this?”
You’ll want to purchase tape that can be applied without hassle when you work in extreme temperatures.
In the past, many of our customers at Strouse have approached us with concerns about finding the right VHB for their temperature requirements.
If you want to improve the usability of your material, read on for your ideal VHB application temperatures.
HOW DO APPLICATION TEMPERATURES WORK?
When purchasing tape in the past, you may have noticed the metric “application temperature” in its description.
But wait, what ARE your 3M VHB application temperatures?
Application temperatures are the criteria a substance ideally meets before application. In this case, it’s the ideal temperature at which a tape should be used.
Special adhesives bond more quickly or effectively when exposed to higher temperatures during adhesion. To take advantage of this, 3M determined the temperatures at which their tapes could be applied most effectively.
Application temperatures function based on the kind of adhesive a tape is using. 3M manufactures tape for various uses, meaning the adhesive type could depend on its purpose.
3M VHB Adhesive Application Temperatures
3M publishes the corresponding minimum temperatures for their VHB line to ensure the most successful adhesive application.
Generally, it’s important to note that the ideal application range for VHB is 70 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (21-38oC). However, VHB tape families follow minimum application temperatures you can use to achieve the best possible results.
3M VHB TAPE 4945 FAMILY
3M VHB family 4945 was created to seal against water or other moisture and absorb vibrations.
According to 3M, the minimum application temperature for 4945 is 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
Its uses include but are not limited to:
- High dynamic stress absorption (reduces impact stress)
- Good adhesion to glass and metals
- Chemical and UV resistant
3M VHB TAPES 4950, 4910, 4611, 4622
These VHB tape families are all used for decorative material, trim, edges, fastening, and more.
Their minimum application temperature is 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).
Additional advantages of these tape families:
- Long-term durability
- Low visibility for a cleaner appearance
3M VHB TAPE LSE OR 4951 FAMILY
These VHB tapes are often used to seal panels to frames in signs or automobiles.
The minimum application temperature for these adhesives is around 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius).
One advantage of these adhesives is that they can be used on plastics and composites without priming, saving time and chemicals.
Although application temperatures are often a critical factor in choosing your VHB tape, there could be other considerations to make for your project. You can get a better understanding of the differences between VHB tapes below.
Why Does My VHB Application Temperature Matter?
Suppose a VHB tape achieves its adhesive bond after 24 hours at room temperature. If you’re in the middle of a project, you may not have an entire day to spare. For instance, one adhesive tape may need a quicker bonding rate to prevent a heavy frame from sliding down the wall.
If you know the tape’s application temperature, you can be more mindful about its use, applying it at a higher temperature to achieve the full bond in less than one hour.
Like any other material, adhesives may behave differently depending on how hot or cold it becomes. The reason for this is because of its viscous flow or viscoelasticity.
Pressure sensitive adhesives depend on the process of viscous flow to stick.
Viscous flow reduces bond stress by allowing the tape to demonstrate both solid and liquid characteristics. This makes it flexible enough for thermal expansion and energy absorption.
The temperature of an adhesive tape changes the speed of its viscous flow, affecting its bond strength and behavior.
What if My VHB Tape Doesn’t Stick?
Applying VHB tape below the suggested temperature isn’t recommended as it could result in the adhesive becoming too firm to form the bond correctly or attach momentarily, leading to adhesive failure.
However, once the tape has been applied and full bond strength has been achieved, its temperature range often expands and allows for its use in cold environments.
Understanding VHB tape will help you choose the best type of VHB tape for your project and improve the effectiveness of your build.
Still unsure what you’re looking for? You can learn about VHB or read more about similar adhesive solutions in our Learning Center. If you are unsure how to apply your 3M VHB tape properly, contact us, and we’ll be glad to help you solve the issue.
Originally published: August 17, 2022