This week’s EYE on NPI (video) is going to stick around for a long time: it’s 3M’s RP+ VHB™ Tapes, the latest version of the 3M VHB family that has been solving ‘how to stick this to that’ for over 40 years.
Digi-Key stocks all sorts of shapes from strips, rolls and sheets – and all the different thicknesses, temperature gradients and adhesive variations.
3M VHB tapes have been used for almost every industry: from architectural, to automotive, to appliances and electronic device both hand-held and large-scale.
VHB stands for Very High Bond, so it’s used for semi-permanent installations. Chances are you’ve used it before, think of the last time you had to stick something together and it came with a red plastic liner – our desk’s headset hanger came with a 2″x2″ square and it’s been holding strong for almost 10 years!
Usage is simple when hand-applying: prep the surface by cleaning first so there’s no dirt or dust or oil, dry and abrade if needed – most surfaces do not need abrasion but it can increase the bond strength, apply one side of the tape and apply pressure to ‘wet-out’ the adhesive into the surface, then remove the thin plastic sheet cover, and press on the other side to the tape. Apply firm pressure again to make sure the adhesive squeezes out.
The bond will be at 50% strength after 20 minutes, 90% after 24 hours, and 100% at 72 hours. You can speed it up by heating to 150 *C / 66 *F for one hour.
In addition to shapes, there are also different thicknesses and firmness to the foam – up to 1.6mm thicker foam will be able to conform to rougher uneven surfaces but now the foam itself has some flexibility. Some VHBs can handle high or low temperatures for outdoor or industrial uses. For electronics and robotics, it can be great for attaching displays, mounting sensors, or making enclosures screw-less.
So if you need to stick this-to-that and keep it that way for a long time, order some VHB tape from DigiKey today and you can have it in hand by tomorrow afternoon.
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