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Acrylic Foam Tape: The Road to Versatility

Ever wonder how the panels of a tractor trailer can stay together without rattling apart down the road? VHB™ Acrylic Foam Tapes like 3M 4959 is probably what’s responsible for keeping those panels in place with its excellent holding power and vibration dampening. VHB™ Acrylic foam tape is a foam tape with special acrylic adhesive that is usually sold as a roll or strip. Because these tapes are foams, they can be very conformable when bonding two surfaces. Truck panels aside there are a variety of other uses for this product that make it an invaluable and versatile general purpose bonding tape product.

It is most well-known for its uses in the automotive industry. 3Ms VHB™ has been particularly useful in replacing more invasive methods of fastening like nuts, bolts, screws and other metal objects. The risk with metal fasteners is rusting of the fasteners themselves that then spreads to the rest of the vehicle. Unlike the metal fasteners, acrylic foam tape does not rust or corrode.

Tapes like 3M 4959 are commonly used to attach trims and other accessories to the vehicle. The strength of the adhesive and the sturdy backing strip allows for a seamless adhesion. The foam in the strip is the key. Its expansive texture works its way into every crack and curvature firmly securing the two parts together without any air pockets between them. Available in almost any width, this tape can provide a secure fit for any job.

There many different kinds of VHB™ acrylic tape, each with specific features that make them the ideal choice for certain tasks. The varieties include:

General Purpose Tape: Adheres to high energy surfaces like metal, glass, strong plastics.

Multi-Purpose Tape: Adheres to both high and low energy surfaces.

Low Surface Energy Tape: Adheres for lower energy surfaces like plastics and powder paint coated surfaces.

In general acrylic foam tapes are composed of a strong but flexible backing strip. Some are double-sided and come with a protective film to cover the adhesive surfaces. Some tapes like 3M 4959 can tolerate temperatures of up to 400°F over the span of a few hours or 300°F over the span of a few weeks. Most tapes can be found in black and white, though some custom items may be available in other colors.

The most important thing to remember to is chose the right tape for the job. Thickness, adhesive style and material, backing material and temperature tolerance are all things to consider carefully before purchasing any tape products.

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