3M announced the debut of 3M VHB Extrudable Tape, a new manufacturing bonding solution that brings elevated levels of automation, simplicity, and sustainability across industries. This end-to-end bonding solution combines all the benefits of 3M VHB Tapes with the versatility of a liquid adhesive in a single contained footprint enabling use on any scale.
For more than 40 years, 3M VHB Tape has redefined manufacturing design and assembly processes, allowing users to bond industrial materials quickly, securely, and permanently without the use of unsightly mechanical fasteners, such as screws or rivets.
Initially used for bonding panels to the frames of specialty vehicles like ambulances and box trucks, this new bonding solution proved superior to other methods due to its ability to distribute stress loads across an entire surface instead of concentrating stress loads around each individual fastener.
Today, 3M continues that legacy by extending its tape solutions even further, opening a new era of manufacturing capabilities enabled by heightened flexibility, increased throughput, simplified automation, and improved sustainability.
3M VHB Extrudable Tape combines the best qualities of high-strength acrylic foam tape with the versatility of liquid adhesives without any of their inherent drawbacks. While liquid adhesives offer excellent versatility with the application, they can be messy, difficult to handle, increase waste, and require longer curing times, all factors that increase manufacturing time and overall costs.
In contrast, the 3M On Demand Bonding System — designed to work with the the Nordson ProBond System — eliminates liners and container waste while providing immediate material bonding and handling strength. These benefits help significantly streamline, simplify, and speed up production operations.
“3M VHB Extrudable Tape does things no tape or liquid adhesive could ever do”, says Patrick Meifert, global portfolio director of 3M. “It’s an entirely new category of product and bonding solution for manufacturing innovation. This bonding system creates endless design and application possibilities at scale — whether you’re a global multinational or a local manufacturing business.”
Simple storage and application
Shipped on spools, 3M VHB Extrudable Tape comes in the form of a long, coiled spool that is easily stored and doesn’t require special packaging or handling. Unlike large, complex liquid adhesive machines, the 3M On Demand Bonding System has a small footprint (30″ x 37″) and few moving parts, allowing easy integration into assembly lines without a long list of replacement parts.
The new tape works effortlessly on curved surfaces, irregular shapes, and dissimilar materials, eliminating the need for unsightly fasteners. The system can manage most inline or offline bonding situations involving metals, glass, rubber, woven surfaces, and plastics, alone or in combination with each other. As a result, it can be used across multiple parts of the manufacturing process as a single adhesive that replaces several specialized solutions.
Efficient and automation-ready
With 3M VHB Extrudable Tape, bonded parts are ready to be handled immediately, removing steps, and increasing throughput. The system also requires little to no surface preparation, further simplifying the process. The 3M On Demand Bonding System has a small footprint which allows scalability for manufacturers of any size to confidently move from design to scale-up no matter where they are in the automation journey.
The tape’s innovative stretch release technology provides a quick and easy adhesive removal process that reduces scrap, waste, and rework, making component repair easier.
3M tapes have been used extensively across a wide variety of market applications for over 40 years, so when it came to creating a new product, 3M’s scientists, engineers, and developers knew the market and their customers intimately. That allowed them to design this product with a new set of priorities at stake. Automation, versatility, and sustainability were the primary goals for 3M VHB Extrudable Tape and, today, they bring this solution to the world.
“Today, 3M VHB Extrudable Tape redefines bonding possibilities as we know them,” adds Meifert. “The idea that we created a bonding solution that is automation-friendly and versatile is exciting for this industry.”