When purchasing tape in the past, you may have noticed the term “application temperature” in its description.

But wait, what ARE 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 the adhesion process. To take advantage of this, 3M determined the temperatures at which their tapes could be applied most effectively.

How Application Temperatures Work

Application temperatures function based on the kind of adhesive a tape is using.

3M manufactures tape for various uses, meaning the adhesive could vary based on its purpose.

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.

3M™ VHB™ Adhesive Application Temperatures

The 3M VHB Minimum Application Temperatures

As mentioned previously, 3M published the corresponding minimum temperatures for their VHB line to ensure the most successful adhesive application.

It’s important to note that the ideal application range for VHB is 70 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (21-38oC).

3M vhb Tape 4945 family

3M VHB family 4945 was created with the ability to seal against water or other moisture and absorb vibrations.

According to 3M, their minimum application temperature 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.

Additional Factors

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.

viscous flow

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.

Applying VHB tape below the suggested temperature isn’t recommended as it could result in the adhesive becomes too firm to form the bond correctly.

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.

If you are unsure how to properly apply your 3M VHB tape, contact us, and we’ll be glad to help you solve the issue.

Scott Chambers

Written by Scott Chambers

As the VP of Marketing for Strouse, Scott oversees the content creation team and drives demand to the sales team. Scott graduated from Coastal Carolina with a degree in Business Management. He then attended the University of Baltimore School of Law, earned his JD, and passed the bar in 2016. In addition to marketing and business development, Scott serves as Strouse's In House Counsel. Scott is currently earning an MBA from Indiana University.

Stay Current on Converting News and Insights

Subscribe to our Blog now!