Adhesive Bonding to Low Surface Energy Substrates

Most pressure sensitive adhesives do not bond well to low energy surfaces. In the past, Low Surface Energy [LSE] plastics such as TPO, PP, and HDPE had to be mechanically attached or welded together.

However, technology has now advanced to the point in which adhesives are available that are capable of high performance bonding to LSE substrates such as Thermoplastic Polyolefin, Polypropylene, and Polyethylene without surface treatment. Manufacturers can now use robust adhesive bonding tapes in their design process for bonding dissimilar surfaces, mounting, lamination, etc. Easy to use adhesion promoters are also available as a companion to some adhesive product types to increase the strength and broaden the selection.

In order to achieve optimal adhesion results, the adhesive must have strong adhesion to the substrate surface. The adhesive must flow and wet out on and appropriately interact with the surface of the substrates being bonded. Pressure sensitive adhesives make use of their unique viscoelastic nature to properly flow and wet out to the surface.

In addition to the chemical make up of the surface, the texture, and any contamination that may coat the surface of the substrate can affect the adhesives ability to flow and achieve proper adhesive contact to the surface. Read “Proper Surface Preparation & Pressure Will Save You Aggravation” for more information on treating your surfaces before adhesive lamination.

Here are two examples of SpecBond’s products designed to bond to a wide variety of foams and low surface energy materials: SB473 Double Sided Adhesive Tape, SB475 5 MIL Unsupported Transfer Film.