3M™ VHB™ Tape
What is 3M™ VHB™ Tape?
Very High Bonding (VHB) tapes, introduced in 1980 by 3M, are very durable, improve a product’s appearance, and create a permanent bond, becoming almost indestructible after 72 hours. VHB tape is a fully cured pressure sensitive adhesive tape made with a viscoelastic acrylic polymer foam, which is energy-absorbing. Since 3M VHB tape was introduced, similar bonding tapes have entered the market: Ultra High Bonding (UHB) tapes and Acrylic Foam Tapes (AFT).
The Benefits of VHB Tape vs. Other Bonding Options
For years, when engineers needed to permanently bond substrates, they used mechanical fasteners, rivets, screws, bolts, welding, or liquid adhesives. These traditional materials work for some projects, yet they’re often heavy, messy, from an uneven bond, create vulnerable stress points, or disrupt the assembly process.
With recent innovations, some self-curing adhesives create bonds that are nearly as strong as the components to which they’ve adhered. VHB tape is 10x stronger than rivets and outperforms other traditional bonding solutions.
Traditional solutions create concentrated stress points. VHB tape strips spread stress loads across the entire area on which they’re applied. This high-performance, permanent bond holds up better against shear stress.
VHB tape is available in many thicknesses, widths, and colors, so it matches the exact specifications and performance the product requires, including being a lightweight permanent bonding solution. It can also be converted and die cut to custom shapes and sizes.
Many traditional bonding solutions are challenging to apply, especially using primers, which slow down production and expose employees to harsh chemicals. Not all VHB tapes require the use of a primer. By hand or using machine automation, VHB tape is easily applied and creates smooth and clean bond lines.
VHB tape creates a tight, seamless bond without adding unsightly bulk, protruding fasteners, or weld burns. On product designs where graphics and exteriors are highly visible, this is extremely important.
Top VHB Applications
When thinking about possible uses of VHB tape, it’s easiest to consider every possible product on which you would typically use a traditional bonding material: weld, rivet, mechanical fastener, etc. Simply replace those with VHB tape, a permanent bond that doesn’t negatively impact a product’s performance. That process has been embraced by engineers and product designers for thousands of different applications.
Yet, applications benefitting from VHB tape go further, especially when it comes to using VHB’s conformable nature to apply to curvatures and irregular surfaces. Demanding industries in which VHB tape excels include construction and manufacturing solutions, automotive products, outdoor signs, medical devices, aerospace applications, electronics, and more.
While traditional options typically bond metal-to-metal or plastic-to-plastic, VHB tape can create secure bonds between two or more different surfaces. Material examples include:
POSSIBLE 3M VHB SOLUTIONS:
POSSIBLE 3M VHB SOLUTIONS:
Another reassuring thing about VHB tape is its durability and versatility, being incredibly effective both indoors and outdoors, and amongst many different environmental factors:
High humidity doesn't hurt performance
Resistant to freshwater and saltwater, even submersion
Handles -40°F to 200°F
Stands up to splash test of acetone, ammonia, isopropyl alcohol, oil, etc.
Ultraviolet rays, both natural and artificial, have little effect
Choose an Adhesive Converter that Knows VHB
The ultimate goal of any project is to solve an application challenge while also creating assembly efficiencies and cutting costs. A full-service adhesive tape converter that knows VHB tape helps find the right materials, solves problems, and creates an adhesive solution that’s customized to meet a company’s needs; in other words, VHB tape in custom lengths, widths, sizes, shapes, and formats. Whatever format is most conducive to your process — whether that’s in rolls, die cuts, sheets, or multi-stack lamination — that converter helps select the right VHB tape for your job.
Choosing an adhesive converter is no easy task. Here are things to keep in mind when evaluating potential partners:
The entire process, from concept through the finished solution, can easily be handled. If the adhesive material for your job doesn’t exist, top-end converters create the material to meet your application’s demands.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ADHESIVE CONVERTERS
The Advantage of 3M Preferred Converters
The most trusted VHB tape in the world is made by its originator: 3M. When an adhesive converter achieves 3M Preferred Converter level, it signifies that they’ve been honored for excellence by 3M as being the top of the top. It lets the world know that this converter deeply knows the industry leader, including 3M VHB tape.
When a converter says, “We’re 3M Preferred,” it means they:
- have access to the most advanced adhesives in the world
- are welcomed into 3M’s laboratory
- know 3M design engineers
- trial new technology and products
- sell a high volume of 3M products
- maintain a high level of excellence, and
- can often offer customers quicker deliveries
While “3M Preferred” isn’t “only 3M,” it does show that a converter handles complicated and unique applications.
Can 3M VHB tape be converted in-house without using an adhesive converter?
Our handy resource guide covers 7 converting considerations to give you an idea. Download this quick-reference, side-by-side comparison by clicking the link below.