Proper Surface Preparation & Pressure Will Save You Aggravation

Many customer complaints  are regarding adhesive failure off of a substrate that end up being attributed to improper surface preparation of a substrate. Issues with adhesion are frequently traced back to the failure to properly prepare the substrate first.

Selecting the right adhesive and tape construction is important, however, it is just as critical to have an understanding of proper surface preparation and surface pressure to achieve the best bond.

Adhesives adhere the best when the surface is free from contaminates and imperfections so providing a clean surface is an important first step in maximizing proper adhesion. Surfaces can be cleaned with a lint free cloth and any suitable solvent cleaner such as isopropyl alcohol or methyl ethyl ketone depending on the substrates. For example, isopropyl alcohol is better suited for cleaning plastic substrates and methyl ethyl ketone is a good solvent for cleaning metals. When using a solvent for surface preparation, it is recommended that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and precautions.

In addition to surface preparation, the surface pressure is an additional variable that is critical in achieving the best bonding results. Pressure sensitive materials [PSA’s] need surface contact to achieve a long lasting strong bond between the tape and the substrate. Depending on the substrate and adhesive construction, pressure of a few psi is recommended to allow the adhesive to wet out and flow properly into the substrate. More pressure is needed for rougher and textured surfaces and less pressure for smoother surfaces. The bond strength is dependent upon many factors including adhesion, amount of pressure, surface contact, and dwell time.

Every application is different for the most part and the adhesive and tape construction used varies. Regardless, a successful adhesive bond to a given substrate will more likely take place with proper surface preparation and pressure.

We have many years experience with a very large variety of applications. Contact us with any questions you many have or requests for guidance by calling us at 773-967-0138 or use our Contact Form.