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3M VHB Tapes - 30 years of bonding

3M's VHB tape showing its bonding strength, by being pulled by a rope. Bowling ball being dropped onto aluminium sheets held together with 4941 VHB tape.
Diversified technology company 3M is marking the 30th anniversary of the introduction of its 3M VHB Tapes, proven alternatives to screws, rivets and welds. In the decades since their debut, these speciality bonding tapes have become a worldwide fastener of choice for a wide variety of industries; in addition to the sign trade, they are found in thousands of applications, from skyscrapers to cell phones.

3M VHB Tapes create permanent bonds to most surfaces, including metal, glass, rigid PVC, acrylic, polycarbonate, ABS and polystyrene, making them suitable for an unlimited number of applications. Unlike screws or rivets, which join materials at a single point, high-strength bonding tape permanently adheres one substrate to another while spreading the stress load across the entire length of the joint. Once materials are joined with 3M VHB Tape, a virtually indestructible "weld" is created. VHB tapes also allow thermal expansion between dissimilar materials like metal, glass and plastic.

The tape's durability means it performs over the long term, both indoors and out, with remarkably high holding power in static and dynamic loads. 3M VHB Tapes' ability to resist high and low temperatures, temperature cycling, UV light, moisture and solvents helps it maintain its strength and reliability over years of exposure to harsh conditions. For example, 3M VHB Tape was installed in the Temasek Tower in Singapore in 1986.

The past 30 years have demonstrated that 3M VHB Tapes offer proven strength, reliability, durability and quality that outperform many other fastening and assembly methods. 3M bonding tapes have also improved products and processes in many applications, increasing productivity for users through their ease of use and versatility.

These characteristics were demonstrated at a recent press event at 3M's Bracknell headquarters.

Visitors were shown how quick and easy VHB tapes are to use compared to riveting panels together. The area needs only to be given a quick clean with 3M Surface Cleaner (for use with 3M VHB Tapes) before the tape is stuck in position and pressure applied with a roller to activate the adhesive.

The strength of the bond using VHB Tape compared to riveting was illustrated using a 16lb bowling ball. It took only three swings of the ball to split two sheets of aluminium that had been riveted together; but the two aluminium sheets stuck together using 4941 VHB tape survived 20 strikes and the bond remained intact, despite the metal deforming from the repeated impacts.

For customers that do not require such a high performance level and are looking for a more cost effective solution, 3M offers its VHB RP (Right Product, Right Performance, Right Price) range. The RP tapes bond to a wide variety of surfaces, including, glass, metal, some plastics, composites and sealed wood, and with an acrylic composition that resists UV and weather damage, they are ideal solutions for outdoor applications.

For more information about 3M VHB Tapes, visit the website: www.3M.co.uk/vhbrp

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