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Surface Preparation for


3M VHB Tape Applications
Technical Bulletin November , 2011

Summary Most substrates are best prepared by cleaning with Scotch hIPA Clean 300 or 50:50 mixture
of isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and water prior to applying 3M VHB Tapes.
Exceptions to this general procedure that may require additional surface preparation include:
Heavy Oils: A degreaser or solvent-based cleaner may be required to remove heavy oil
or grease from a surface and should be followed by cleaning with IPA/water.
Abrasion: Abrading a surface, followed by cleaning with IPA/water, can remove
heavy dirt or oxidation and can increase surface area to improve adhesion.
Adhesion Promoters: Priming a surface can significantly improve initial and ultimate
adhesion to many materials such as plastics and paints.
Porous Surfaces: Most porous and fibered materials such as wood, particleboard,
concrete etc. need to be sealed to provide a unified surface.
Unique Materials: Special surface preparation may be needed for glass and glass-like
materials, copper and copper containing metals and plastics or rubber that contain
components that migrate (e.g. plasticizers).

General To obtain optimum adhesion, the


Procedure bonding surfaces must be well unified,
clean and dry. Typical surface cleaning
solvents are:
Scotch hIPA Clean 300 IPA Aerosol
or IPA/water mixture.

Bond strength is dependent upon the


amount of adhesive-to-surface contact
developed. Firm application pressure
develops better adhesive contact and
helps improve bond strength. Generally,
this means that the tape should
experience at least 15 psi (100 kPa) in
rolldown or platen pressure.

Heavy Oils On surfaces with a very light oily film, or other light contamination, Scotch hIPA Clean 300 or
50:50 IPA/water solution is often adequate. Where heavy oils or grease are present, a degreasing
solvent such as Scotch Adhesive Cleaner & Solvent 700 , 3M Prep Solvent 70 or 3M Citrus
Base Cleaner, are suggested to cut the oil. This should always be followed with a Scotch hIPA
Clean 300 or 50:50 IPA/water solution cleaning to help ensure that any residue or film is removed.

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Abrasion Abrading a surface can serve several functions:
Remove heavy levels of dirt or oxide from metals or paints (e.g. galvanized steel).
Create additional surface area that can increase adhesion.
Smooth a surface to obtain more flatness, allowing improved contact area.
Abrasion often helps adhesion to paints and plastics. When abrading, it is important for tapes to
have a finely abraded surface. Very small scratches in the surface, generated with circular
motion rather than straight-line motion, are most desirable. A surface with many micro-
scratches in it can have up to 40% additional available surface area, translating to higher
ultimate strength and greater initial adhesion. Scotch-Brite Hand Pads (such as 7447 Maroon
or Heavy Duty Green) are good for achieving the right level of abrasion.
Tools such as a power palm sander will assist on large jobs. Avoid grinding a surface with
coarse abrasive materials, since they may create too rough of a texture for the adhesive to
adequately flow into the surface.
If the material being abraded is oily, you must clean first , otherwise the oil will be rubbed
into the scratches and will not be easily removed on final cleaning.

Always clean the surface with Scotch hIPA Clean 300 or additional methods previously
described, and be certain that all loose particles are removed prior to bonding.

Adhesion Priming a surface can significantly improve initial and ultimate adhesion to many materials such
Promoters as plastics and paints because of their low surface energy or the additives they may contain. A
primer creates a new surface for 3M VHB Tape to adhere to and can also create a layer that
may impede the migration of additives that may be present in a material. It is important for the
user to determine the suitability of the 3M VHB Tape, the adhesion promoter and the
application process.

Porous Rough, porous or fibered materials such as wood, particleboard, cement, etc., have an open
Surfaces surface and require sealing and binding up of fibers to provide a unified surface for tape
bonding. Common sealing materials would include paint, varnish or other hard surface coatings.
Fast drying 3M Rubber and Vinyl Spray 80 can also be used to unify the surface and improve
the tape bond.

Unique Glass, stone, ceramic or other siliceous materials are hydrophilic (water-loving) by nature.
Surfaces Normally, the hydrophilic nature makes pressure sensitive adhesive bond durability susceptible
to change under high humidity or exposure to moisture. In basic terms, water vapor can
undercut the tape bond and interfere with the normal adhesion forces. Silane coupling agents,
added to the IPA/water cleaning solution, can help reduce the water-loving tendency of these
surfaces and enhance the tape bond in high moisture environments.
Copper, brass, and bronze are prone to oxidation even after the 3M VHB Tape is applied.
To prevent a weakening of the bond, a lacquer or varnish should be applied to these surfaces. Be
sure to test the tape bond to the sealer on a metal surface to verify good adhesion.
Flexible PVC (vinyl) contains plasticizers that can migrate into the tape and affect adhesion.
There are several 3M VHB Tapes that are formulated to be resistant to plasticizer
migration, or 3M Scotch-Grip Plastic Adhesive 1099, thinned, can serve as a barrier to
migration. Rubber materials (e.g. EPDM, neoprene) can have low surface energy and may also
contain plasticizers and oils. These require the use of an adhesion promoter for stable bond
strength. Test for compatibility with flexible PVC and rubber materials by aging bonded
samples for a week at 66C and check for softening of the adhesive, discoloration or reduction
in bond strength.

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Suggested The table below offers suggested primers and alternative methods that commonly require primers,
Surface adhesion promoters or other surface treatments for successful use with 3M VHB Tapes. This
Treatments list is not intended to be fully comprehensive but may be useful for many applications.

Common Surface cleaning & preparation


Surface Primer required:
Concerns
1. Clean with Scotch HIPA Clean 300. For heavy oils,
clean with Scotch Adhesive Cleaner and Solvent
Surface 700.
Steel, Glavainsed Steel, Optional: 3M AP-111 Cleaner /
oxidation, 2. Lightly abrade with Scotchbrite 7447 maroon hand
Aluminum Primer instead of abrasion
oil. pad or Roloc equivalent.
3. Dry wipe metal/oxide dust
4. Clean with Scotch hIPA Clean 300
1. Clean with Scotch hIPA Clean 300. For heavy oils,
Required
clean with Scotch Adhesive Cleaner and Solvent
Acrylic Lacquer or varnish
Oxidation 700.
Copper, Brass, Bronze preferred,
after bonding 2. Lightly abrade with Scotchbrite 7447 maroon hand
Alternative :Primer 94 can be used
pad or Roloc equivalent.
as a substitute
3. Clean with SCOTCH Scotch hIPA Clean 300
Concrete, Brick Non-unified 1. Remove dust & loose debris with a wire brush, Required: 3M Rubber and Vinyl
or rough remove all dust with a fine brush or high pressure air. Spray 80 or suitable acrylic paint.
surface, Heavily textured surfaces may need
moisture to be rendered.
Compressed Fibre cement 1. Clean with Scotch hIPA Clean 300 Required :3M Primer 94
Low
(UV Cured acrylic sealed) 2. Apply 3M Primer 94 and allow 5 minutes to dry
adhesion
1. Clean with Scotch hIPA Clean 300 to remove bulk Required in humid environments:
contaminants. AP-115. If AP-115 or other silane
2. Clean with AP-115, wiping solution onto the glass , coupling agent is not available , 3M
High
followed by wiping off to remove excess. Ensure the Primer 94 may be used as a
Glass, Stone, Ceramic Tile humidity,
glass does not appear cloudy. Refer AP-115 substitute subject to evaluation.
moisture
Technical datasheet for further details. Indoor , non humid environments-
none required.

1. Sand with coarse abrasive to remove weak fibers, Required:


Weak fiber
remove all dust with a fine brush or high pressure air. Suitable hard coating/paint
layer on
Wood (soft, hard particle 2. Apply a suitable paint, lacquer or other durable Alternative
surface (e.g.,
board, etc.) coating 3M Rubber and Vinyl Spray 80 or
low surface
3M Fastbond 30 or Contact
strength)
Adhesive
Polyolefin Low 3. Clean with Scotch hIPA Clean 300 Required :3M Primer 94
Plastics (ie, adhesion 4. Apply 3M Primer 94 and allow 5 minutes to dry (additional surface preparation may
: Polyethylene, 5. If adhesion is still poor, try first abrading with also be required such as abrasion )
polypropylene) Maroon Scotchbrite( before primer application.

Non-olefin Additives 1. For heavy contaminants & oils, clean with Scotch Optional : Primer 94 for lower
and low Adhesive Cleaner and Solvent 700. If mold release surface energy plastics such as ABS,
adhesion agents present, clean with 3M prep-solvent 70 . HIPS
2. Clean with Scotch hIPA Clean 300
3. If adhesion is still poor, try first abrading with
Maroon Scotchbrite
Polyamide Weak H20 1. Clean with Scotch hIPA Clean 300 Required :3M Primer 94
(Nylon) boundary 2. Abrade thoroughly with a Scotch-Brite 7447 Hand
layer pad
3. Without delay , clean with Scotch hIPA Clean 300
4. Immediately apply 3M Primer 94
1. If mold release agents present, clean with 3M Prep-
solvent 70
Polyurethane (Molded or Optional Scotch-Grip Plastic
Mold release 2. Clean with Scotch hIPA Clean 300
Rubber) Adhesive 1099 to improve adhesion
agents 3. If adhesion is still poor, try first abrading with
Maroon Scotchbrite

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Common Surface cleaning & preparation
Surface Primer required:
Concerns
Rubber: Migrating 1. Clean with Scotch Adhesive Cleaner and
Neoprene, Santoprene, oils Low Solvent 700
natural rubber adhesion 2. Abrade with Scotchbrite 7447
3. Clean with Scotch Adhesive Cleaner and Required :Plastic Adhesive 1099 or
Solvent 700 3M Primer 94
4. Apply 3M Primer 94

EPDM 1. Clean with Scotch Adhesive Cleaner and


Solvent 700
2. Abrade with Scotchbrite 7447 Required : 3M Primer 94
3. Clean with Scotch Adhesive Cleaner and Alternative : Plastic Adhesive 4799
Solvent 700
4. Apply 3M Primer 94
Poor 1. Clean with Scotch hIPA Clean 300
Brushable or adhesion 2. If adhesion is still poor, try Primer and or first Optional: 3M AP-111 Cleaner /
Paints Spray paint abrading with Maroon Scotchbrite Primer instead of abrasion

Powder Coated Waxy 1. Lightly abrade with Maroon Scotchbrite


Optional: 3M AP-111 Cleaner /
Paints layer, low 2. Dry wipe paint dust
Primer instead of abrasion
adhesion 3. Clean with Scotch hIPA Clean 300
Alternative option : Primer 94.
PVDF / PVF2 Low 1. Abrade with Maroon Scotchbrite
(eg. Front Surface 2. Clean with Scotch0 Scotch hIPA Clean
Required : 3M Primer 94
Surface of Energy 300
Composite 3. Apply Primer 94
Panels)
Polyester paint Low 1. Lightly abrade with Maroon Scotchbrite
(eg , rear of Surface 2. Dry wipe paint dust Optional: 3M AP-111 Cleaner /
composite Energy 3. Clean with Scotch hIPA Clean 300 Primer instead of abrasion
panels)
Anodised Aluminum Dirt , Dust 1. Clean with Scotch hIPA Clean 300 Optional: 3M AP-111 Cleaner /
Primer or abrasion is adhesion if
unsatisfactory with cleaning only.

Flexible PVC (Vinyl) Plasticizer 1. If mold release agents present, clean with Required for non plasticizer resistant
migration 3M prep-solvent 70 VHB tapes : Spray 80 or 1099.
2. Clean with Scotch hIPA Clean 300 (Not required for 4941/4991/4945
families with multipurpose adhesive
type )

Run an Because 3M cannot anticipate all of the different possible surfaces and contaminants
Evaluation that may exist, it is imperative that the user conduct an evaluation to determine the
suitability of 3M VHB Tapes, surface preparations procedures, and any other
processes that may have an influence on the tape or the bonded parts. Likewise,
where there are any changes in plastic or paint formulation, or suppliers of these
materials, it is advisable to run evaluations to ensure that the change has not
influenced the compatibility of the surface with 3M VHB Tapes.

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Certification/ MSDS: 3M has not prepared an MSDS for these products which are not subjected to the MSDS
requirements of the US Occupational Safety and Health Administrations Hazard Communication
Recognition
Standard, 29 C.F.R. 910.1200(b)(6)(v). When used under reasonable conditions or in accordance
with the 3M directions for use, these products should not present a health and safety hazard.
However, use or processing of the products in a manner not in accordance with the directions for
use may affect their performance and present potential health and safety hazards.
TSCA: These products are defined as articles under the US Toxic Substances Control Act

Important Notice User is responsible for determining whether the 3M product is fit for a particular purpose and
suitable for users method of application. Please remember that many factors can affect the use and
performance of a 3M product in a particular application. The materials to be bonded with the
product, the surface preparation of these materials, the product selected for use, the conditions in
which the product is used, and the time and environmental conditions in which the product is
expected to perform are among the many factors that can affect the use and performance of a 3M
product. Given the variety of factors that can affect the use and performance of a 3M product,
some of which are uniquely within the users knowledge and control, it is essential that the user
evaluate the 3M product to determine whether it is fit for a particular purpose and suitable for the
users method of application.

Limited Warranty Limited Product Warranty: 3M warrants for 24 months from the date of manufacture, that
3MVHB Tape will be free of defects in material and manufacture. 3M MAKES NO OTHER
WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ANY
IMPLIED WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR
PURPOSE. This warranty does not cover damage resulting from the use or inability to use 3M
VHB Tape due to misuse, workmanship in application, or application or storage not in accordance
with 3M recommended procedures.

If the 3MVHB Tape is proved to be defective within the warranty period stated above, THE
Limitation of Remedies and EXCLUSIVE REMEDY, AT 3MS OPTION, SHALL BE TO REFUND THE PURCHASE
Liability PRICE OF OR TO REPAIR OR REPLACE THE DEFECTIVE 3MVHBTAPE. 3M shall not
otherwise be liable for loss or damages, whether direct, indirect, special, incidental, or
consequential, regardless of the legal theory asserted, including negligence, warranty, or strict
liability.

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Industrial Business
Industrial Adhesives and
Tape Division
950 Pacific Hwy
Pymble , NSW , 2073

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