Everything You Need to Know about Adhesive Converting

What is Tensile Strength?

Posted by Sue Chambers Mar 19, 2014 5:06:00 AM

When you look over a data sheet for a specific product you will find loads of information from technical specs, to application uses, and how to apply the adhesive for maximize its features. Recently we discussed elongation and how this can be an important factor when selecting adhesives. Today we will look at Tensile Strength.

Tensile Strength – The maximum force or stress a material can withstand while being pulled apart from both ends before failing or breaking.


Tensile Strength Diagram where force pulls the tape from both ends. Tensile Strength shows the force pulling apart the tape from both ends.

Tensile Strength is a key piece of data when selecting adhesives to determine the strength and durability of the material. This figure is often expressed as the pounds per inch of width (lbs./in. width) or N/100mm. For example, 3M VHB can have anywhere from 55 to 160 lbs./in^2 tensile strength. As long as the load applied via stretching is below the tensile strength of the material, the material will not fail. The elastic behavior of materials extends to a "yield point," which denotes when the deformations are completely recoverable. Adhesive tape has the added benefit of having a yield point that is very close if not identical to its normal tensile strength, so the material can withstand the tension over and over again.

Tensile Strength is important to note when using adhesive to bond materials. Bonded joints will face stresses of all sorts including tension (Tensile), compression, shear, cleavage, and peel. Applying an adhesive that cannot withstand the necessary stresses will result in failure of the adhesive and potentially failure from the parts you are bonding or the entire application.

Elements Tensile Strength (lbs/In^2)
Aluminum 5801 to 7251
Copper 30,457
Gold 14,503
Lead 1740
Concrete 435
Rubber 2175


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Sue Chambers

Written by Sue Chambers

President and CEO of Strouse