This week’s EYE on NPI is the 3M reusable squeegee applicator set, a handy tool for any engineer. These are originally designed for laminate and sticker applications, but we always seem to need a “more flexible than metal, but not as flexible as rubber” application tool. Particularly when we’re applying solder paste through a stencil, by hand. No longer will we use an expired rewards card!
3M’s reusable squeegee applicators come in two different colors: blue and gold. The gold applicator is most commonly used, allowing maximum application pressure by being stiffer than the blue applicator. The blue applicator is softer, which provides more flexibility to mold it around contours, rivets, and corrugations. When applying graphics, tape, or other 3M adhesives, these reusable squeegee applicators work to remove unwanted bubbles, wrinkles, and air pockets. Replace the plastic applicator if the edges become nicked or ragged. Damaged edges could scratch the material. Use firm pressure on the plastic applicator and overlapping strokes. If possible, start in the center of the graphic. Always squeegee the shortest distance to the edge of the graphic. Hold the remaining film away from the substrate where the application started and then squeegee that area; this prevents wrinkles. For very large adhesions, especially those with a pressure-sensitive adhesive, leaving the liner in place just prior to squeegeeing makes the graphic more controllable, keeps the adhesive clean, and reduces the possibility of stretching the film.
Great for applying decals or stickers to panels, UV film to PCBs, screen protectors, whatever you need applied with juuust the right amount of pressure. Sometimes we show off advanced electronics components, but I also love to see a good tool show up. Something like this, even if you don’t need it immediately, will come in handy at the right time. Even if you aren’t planning to graphics-wrap your car, you’re probably dealing with adhesive films and they are really annoying to work with without the right tools…Nothing worse than trying to fight bubbles out of film, or not getting even paste deposit!
For about $1.50 each, we recommend adding the 3M PA1-B to your cart for next time you check out. The 3M PA1-B squeegee is available right now from Digi-Key for same-day shipping, order it today and you’ll be squeegeeing by tomorrow!
See this at Digi-Key short URL https://www.digikey.com/short/47trrj
Catch 3M on Twitter https://twitter.com/3M
Manufacturer video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMMpRNGM2dY