Bonding low-surface energy (LSE) plastics can be a sticky challenge. Why? Because the plastic-to-plastic bond typically fails to offer enough adhesion to stick properly. This means costly, time-consuming priming or adhesion promoters, unpleasant odors, including other process steps, are required to work.
Such challenges can inhibit the bonding of composites and LSE plastics and, ultimately, alter the creative design process. To solve these challenges, 3M announces the introduction of the 3M VHB Tape LSE Series — a fast, easy and reliable bonding solution for LSE substrates.
These include polymers or fillers such as polypropylene (PP), thermoplastic olefins (TPO), and thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), as well as composite materials like glass reinforced plastic (GRP) or fiber reinforced plastic (FRP).
Made of double-sided acrylic foam, 3M tapes create a long-lasting, high-strength bond, performing well across a wide temperature range. They also provide durable alternatives to ultrasonic welding and other adhesion methods.
“Plastics and composites have opened up the door for our customers to revolutionize the materials they use and are propelling broad changes in modern design. However, these materials’ low surface energies make them hard to bond quickly and durably,” said Kevin Schwab, 3M marketing manager. “The 3M VHB Tape LSE Series is a versatile solution for these difficult-to-bond substrates, further enhancing the breadth of the 3M VHB Tape product portfolio.”
The 3M VHB Tape LSE series can:
- Bond without primer to difficult-to-bond-to substrates
- Increase speed and productivity
- Reduce the use of chemicals, like primers, which can contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or chemicals of concern
- Offer long-term durability outdoors
- Provide greater design flexibility
- Lower manufacturing costs
The 3M VHB Tape LSE Series also offers high initial tack at low temperatures so manufacturers can benefit from faster and more reliable bonds in cold environments, such as outdoor applications or unheated factory floors. This low temperature capability allows for immediate handling strength in a wide variety of environments, eliminating time spent waiting for your assembly to continue through your production process.
Like all 3M VHB Tapes, the LSE Series is engineered with a full acrylic construction, which means it resists cycling temperatures, exposure to UV light, moisture and solvents. Its holding power under a wide temperature range makes it a durable alternative to rivets, ultrasonic welds, and liquid adhesives.
While designed specifically to meet the needs of low-surface-energies, the LSE Series also has superior bonding performance on medium surface energy plastics, metals and more. It can be applied by hand, with semi-automatic equipment or robotics. The new tape is available in 0.6 mm, 1.1 mm, and 1.6 mm thicknesses.